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THE POLITICAL ISSUE

ART
ART IN THE AGE OF BUSH DENVER MINNEAPOLIS PHILADELPHIA
September/October 2008

American
Contemporary
Bente Vold Klausen
September 22 - November 1, 2008

Translations Gallery
855 Inca Street, Denver, CO 80204
303.629.0713

w w w . translationsgallery.com

Bente Vold Klausen, Shadows in Threatened Landscape detail


INTUITIVE
RESPONSE
Eva Carter, Night Tide, oil on canvas, 72 x 66 inches

a collection of
recent paintings by
Eva Carter

September 26 - October 30

NOVEMBER
SELECTION
an exhibition of work by

William M Halsey
Eva Carter
Karin Olah

November 1 - 30

Eva Carter Gallery


___________________________
132 East Bay Street
Charleston South Carolina
843.722.0506
www.evacartergallery.com
David Graham
Goodyear, AZ, 2006

Almost Paradise
September 19 - November 8, 2008

339 South 21st Street Philadelphia PA 19103 (NE corner of 21st & Pine sts)
1+ 215.731.1530 : www.Gallery339.com : info@Gallery339.com
Tuesday – Saturday: 10 am – 6 pm . Sunday & Monday by appointment
F rom the E ditors

What is American
Contemporary Art?

a fter covering fine art for over a decade, we recently decided to


take on a larger canvas by launching this national contemporary In each issue, we begin with a concise overview of the
art magazine. In a time of economic trouble and the decline of print institutional art world, entitled Up Front. In some cases, like this
media, this may seem like a counterintuitive decision. Nevertheless, issue, one of our editors will examine the art market; in others we
we believe that a readership exists for a comprehensive, bi-monthly will look at important nationwide trends. The bulk of the section,
survey of the contemporary art world. Although no print publication however, is comprised of a survey of contemporary art museum
can complete directly with the infinite space of the internet, we will exhibitions and a preview of forthcoming art fairs and events.
provide a wide-ranging sampling of art from coast to coast and Although museums are important to contemporary art, we focus
contextualize it with informative and thought-provoking articles, the majority of our attention on art outside of formal institutions.
all in a medium suited to viewing a large number of images with Our Exhibitions section offers you the broadest overview of U.S.
ease. While one must wade through the deluge of information contemporary art galleries that can be found in a print publication.
available online*, we pick out the best for you and provide it in a In this first issue and future ones, we will cover over fifty artists
tactile format. exhibiting at contemporary art galleries throughout country. We try
This magazine will provide you with a first taste of art. The to maintain geographic balance, while always making sure to give
mechanical reproduction process, now using digital transmission due coverage to the largest markets. Starting with the fourteen
and a high-speed printing press, allows thousands, even millions of cities included in this issue, we intend to expand and increase our
people access to work that is typically created in a localized, concrete breadth in the future. Over the next few issues, we will introduce
reality. The images included inside provide a preview of works that columns covering several markets. Filed by local correspondents,
can best be viewed in person, at galleries, museums, and in one’s these ArtScope reports will give readers a sense of the art scenes in
own collection. The magazine’s contents merely whet one’s appetite these cities. They will serve as a valuable resource for locals looking
for further journeys in art, from exploring art online to attending for the inside scoop and readers nationwide seeking to expand their
exhibitions and art fairs, visiting galleries, and discussing works with knowledge of other markets. Look for our first columns in the next
friends. A quick flip through the 108 pages of this magazine offers issue. Ultimately, we hope that the depth of this local reporting will
over 100 images, each of which can serve as a starting point for match the overall breadth of our exhibition coverage.
further inquiry. (That’s not including the dozens of image-laden ads.) Our Artists section provides a more detailed look at individual
Informed readers can further build their comprehensive knowledge artists. In these pages, we examine the artistic process; display
of contemporary art and the novice can become versed in its current portfolios of new work; present the stories of artists’ lives; and,
state of affairs. occasionally, allow some to write about their own work.
For us, contemporary art describes works that break with fixed Sandwiched between these two sections, our feature stories will
notions of art, that finds novel ways to present ideas and techniques. paint in broader strokes. Examining city art scenes, trends, artists,
Paintings, installations, sculpture, multimedia, and transcendent and occasionally using art to probe larger issues, these articles will
forms will fill our pages, as will occasion forays into design, often have greater ambitions and seek to place contemporary art in
architecture, and the way that fine art is framed in popular media. a larger context.
Ultimately, though, we seek to ground ourselves in fine art and not Our ultimate goal is to provide a wider range of information
let occasional digressions become distracting. and more visual stimuli than any other art publication. We will
Contemporary art is so often connected with New York City, continue this mission in future issues with more extensive coverage
and other international capitals of arts, bursting with hundreds of of art in individual markets and other evolutions designed to make
galleries. While recognizing these art meccas, we’ve also noticed this magazine a vital and enjoyable resource. For now, enjoy this
dozens of galleries around the country that remain unheralded on first issue. ACA
the national stage. This magazine seeks to explore the art scenes in
the largest markets but also those that often escape coverage. We want your feedback: Email us at letters@acamagazine.com.

*Lest you think we are Luddites with a grudge against the internet, visit our
website at acamagazine.com.
from the editors 9
inside
THE POLITICAL ISSUE

ART
ART IN THE AGE OF BUSH DENVER MINNEAPOLIS PHILADELPHIA
SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2008

AMERICAN
CONTEMPORARY
18 In this Issue
THE POLITICAL ISSUE
Up Front September/October 2008

25 The Art Market Contemporary Art in Denver


27 Museums As Denver awaits its convention close-up, the city’s art
31 Art Events scene has hit its stride. Twenty years after the vibrancy
of the late 1980s, galleries from that era still remain
on top, while new ones begin to emerge. Local writer
Exhibitions
Michael Paglia paints a portrait of a city that is quickly
37 Directory becoming a major contemporary art destination.
38 Philadelphia
42 New York
70
45 Los Angeles
48 San Francisco Minneapolis vs. Convention
49 Chicago A series of exhibitions present a vision of America
50 Washington, D.C. that contrasts with the one that will likely be presented
51 Seattle at the Republican National Convention. From the
52 Denver government-sponsored art of the New Deal to Eero
54 Minneapolis Saarinen’s architecture and shows about the present,
55 Southwest Minneapolis confronts the right-wing revelry soon
56 Southeast to occur in neighboring St. Paul. Tori Frankel has
the story. 74
87 From the Curator Art in the Age of Bush
The changing landscape of American culture is the
theme of three exhibitions from across the country:
Artists
a waterboarding installation at Coney Island and
large-scale museum exhibitions in Miami Beach and
91 Nathan Fischer
Southern California. Eric Kalisher examines how the
92 Brian Scott
political realities of the past eight years have influenced
93 Mark Richards
artists’ conceptions of the American ideal.
94 Gwen Laine
95 David Eddington
77
96 Eva Carter
97 Karin Olah Inspired abstraction
98 Shelly Hearne Washington, DC, the capital of American politics,
100 Ben Nighthorse provides the home base for Maggie Michael. Influenced
Campbell by such notable artists as Joan Mitchell and Louise
Bourgeois, she creates brilliant abstract paintings (see
106 Parting Thoughts the cover). Tracey Hawkins explores Michael’s artistic
journey and the effect of Washington on her work.

82

contents 13
Accorsi Arts Associates
ACME Fine Art
Alpha Gallery
Babcock Galleries
NOVEMBER 7 - 10
Mark Borghi Fine Art Friday 11am - 8pm Saturday & Sunday 11am - 7pm Monday 11am - 5pm
Michael Borghi Fine Art $20 Admission Café Catalog Wheelchair Accessible
Gary Bruder
The Caldwell Gallery THE PARK AVENUE ARMORY
Simon Capstick-Dale Fine Art Park Avenue & 67th Street, New York City
Valerie Carberry Gallery
Conner • Rosenkranz
PREVIEW THURSDAY NOVEMBER 6, 6PM - 9PM
DFN Gallery
To benefit Planned Parenthood® Federation of America
DJT Fine Art
Planned Parenthood® Hudson Peconic, Planned Parenthood® of Nassau County
Elrick-Manley Fine Art
Planned Parenthood® of New York City 212 274 7201 www.ppnyc.org
Peter Fetterman Gallery
David Findlay Jr. Fine Art
Peter Findlay Gallery
SANFORD L. SMITH & ASSOCIATES
Fischbach Gallery 212 777 5218 www.sanfordsmith.com
Galeria Hafenrichter & Fluegel
Gallery Henoch
Gebert Contemporary
Bernard Goldberg Fine Arts
Grenning Gallery
Stephen Haller Gallery
Nancy Hoffman Gallery
R. S. Johnson Fine Art
David Klein Gallery
Kraushaar Galleries
Levis Fine Art
Lost City Arts

THE I N T E R N AT I O N A L ART FA I R - 1900 TO CONTEMPORARY


McCormick Gallery
Jerald Melberg Gallery
Miller Block Gallery
Richard Norton Gallery
Aaron Payne Fine Art
Katharina Rich Perlow Gallery
Gerald Peters Gallery
Jack Rutberg Fine Arts
Louis Stern Fine Arts
Hollis Taggart Galleries
Sundaram Tagore Gallery
Tasende Gallery
Abby M. Taylor Fine Art
Vincent Vallarino Fine Art
Tom Veilleux Gallery
Meredith Ward Fine Art
Island Weiss Gallery
Whitford Fine Art
D. Wigmore Fine Art
Amy Wolf Fine Art Gregory Johnson, Natura Morte/Zen III, courtesy Stephen Haller Gallery
List incomplete
WYSIWYG
James Hyde, Summer Kemick,
Sungmi Lee, Avery McCarthy,
Colin Montgomery, Paul Salveson
September 13–October 18, 2008
Titled after the computing
acronym for “what you see is
what you get,” this exhibition
examines abstract photography
made through an interdiscipli-
nary approach. It features six
artists who are equally informed
by music, sculpture, painting,
graphic design and science as
they are by the photography.
Far from any notion of pure
abstraction, the works in the
exhibition are “dirtied” by
other practices and disciplines,
often making abstract what is
found in the everyday.

WYSIWYG is organized by
Christopher Y. Lew

Above: James Hyde. GUSTING. 2007. Acrylic on digital print, acrylic on wood blocks. 20.5" x 30.5"

KRIZNA JAMA
Michael E. Smith
Ed Brown
October 26 –
November 29, 2008

JENNY JASKEY GALLERY / 969 N. 2ND STREET / PHILADELPHIA, PA 19123 / +1 (215) 543-6029 / info@jennyjaskey.com
I n T his I ssue

EDITOR

Everything Eric Kalisher

is political. PUBLISHER
Richard Kalisher

Managing Editor
This maxim is especially true during the Convention in St. Paul. In our Exhibitions
Donovan Stanley
months of the September and October, in section, we also focus on new shows in
the lead up to the 2008 presidential election. each city, from environmental art to the
For the cities of Denver and Minneapolis/ representations of the elephant. Design
St. Paul, the brunt of this will be felt in the Politics don’t end in the convention Jon Morrissey
final week of August and first of September. cities. A trio of exhibitions, from opposite Monty Jorgensen
In picking these location, the two parties corners of the country, try to navigate
skipped over the fifteen largest metropolitan political realities in post-9/11 America. Photo & Copy Editor
areas in the country and sought out emerging Editor Eric Kalisher places them within a Jamie Dennison
cities instead of established ones. larger political context and examines the
We are following suit. Instead of New legacy of the Age of Bush. Assistant Editors
York, Los Angeles, or Boston, we too are Washington, DC, the center of
Khalil Khoury, Rachel Mann,
setting our sights on the metropolitan hubs American politics, is the home of Maggie Kate Merkel, Jill Ryeth
of Colorado and Minnesota. Just as the Michael (on the cover), whose artistic
conventions will bring new awareness to evolution is profiled by Tracey Hawkins.
Contributing Editors
the political identities of these cities, we Expanded coverage of Philadelphia,
Tracey Hawkins, Tori Frankel
hope to do the same for their art scenes. home of the Constitutional Convention Jilliane Pierce, Emily Kindler
Michael Paglia traces the history of Denver’s of 1787, rounds out this political issue. Stephanie Kaston
contemporary art scene through the lens of We devote additional pages to exhibitions
some of its key players, while Tori Frankel in city often labeled as the birthplace of
looks at exhibitions in Minneapolis and the nation. Main Office
how they confront the Republican National – The Editors 1550 Larimer St. #170
Denver, CO 80202

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ART IN THE AGE OF BUSH DENVER MINNEAPOLIS PHILADELPHIA
SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2008

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CONTEMPORARY

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On the Cover: Richard Kalisher
(561) 542-6028
Maggie Michael
Squid, 2007.
Letters
Acrylic latex, ink, enamel,
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Issue 1
September/October 2008

©2008, ChromaView, Inc. Produced


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18 A|C|A Sept/Oct 2008


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up front

T he art mar k et

Despite Economic Woes,


Art Continues Its Ascent
by Donovan Stanley

T he past year has not been kind to the


economy. Not only have we seen
The Art Market Report also
substantiated the rapid growth in the
population controls more money than at
any time in eighty years. Those most likely
the failure of an eighty-year-old investment contemporary art market, in which prices to purchase high-priced art come from this
bank, we have witnessed the first across- for the top 100 artists have risen four-fold income bracket.
the-board decline in house values since the in the past three years. As a result of the An additional factor makes it likely that
Great Depression. Nevertheless, while the large growth in buyers entering the art art sales will increase. While doomsayers
primary asset of most Americans continues market, the prospects for contemporary art predict decline in the high-end auction
to lose value in most housing markets, the seem particularly bright. The reason is a circuit, the market for gallery art remains
price of commodities has surged. Oil looks simple matter of supply and demand. As the strong. As once-solid investments like real
poised to stay above $100 per barrel after number of buyers increase, auction houses estate (both residential and commercial),
reaching an all-time high of just above $145. will be unable to procure enough modern stocks, and even hedge funds become more
The art market similarly has set record prices and impressionist work to meet demand. volatile, savvy investors will seek to diversify
this year. Since recovering from a long period Since these kind of works are limited by their holdings into items that defy weak
of weakness ending in late 2003, art prices definition, contemporary art is expected to exchange rates and risk. Purchasing paintings
have continued to rise, setting records in 2007. fill in the gap. This stands to benefit both from emerging artists gives investors the
In fact, according to the Art Market Report, auction houses and art galleries. Some potential to realize large gains without
it was only last year that the art prices broke expect contemporary art to dominate market having to worry about systemic risk. When
the previous record, set back in 1990. Now within a decade. As a bellwether, many will the auction houses experience heightened
that the drought has been over for nearly five look to Sotheby's Damien Hirst auction. The demand for contemporary works, sparked by
years, some are fearful that recent economic event includes 223 works by Hirst, including the international community, they must find
trouble in the United States and Europe several from his “Natural History” series of art to sell. Those in possession of desirable
portend another downturn in the art market. animals in formaldehyde. The auction takes works stand to benefit. And there lies the
Those projecting the worst have been defied place on September 15 and 16. Look for it opportunity for smart investors to realize a
by the numbers, however. Sotheby’s and to exceed expectations. sizable return.
Christie’s set records in the first half of the The prospects for U.S. art Although times are troubling in the
2008, selling about $7 billion in art. galleries are enhanced by the increased general economy, the art market continues
Infused with new buyers and a greater internationalization of buyers and bolstered to remain surprisingly strong. One letter
diversity of nationalities among them, the by a stabilized local market. Although the published in the Financial Times back in
auction houses have benefited from this housing downturn will affect large swaths May suggested that the art market always
globalization of wealth. While much of the of the country’s populations, it is least peaks during the initial decline of the
prospects for art sales in the boom of the likely to affect those most inclined to buy general economy. This may be so, but as
late 1980s hinged on buyers from a single art. While more conservative forms of of now, we have see no definitive signs of a
country, Japan, today they are far more art may take a hit, as some of the recently coming collapse. Instead, the widespread
diffused around the world. According to constructed McMansions move into expansion of buyers in the global economy
reporting by the Financial Times, buyers from foreclosure, contemporary art holds firmer presages strong times for auction houses
new economic powerhouses like China and ground. Such art typically generates a more and galleries that can tap this market. In the
India are rising in influence and compliment sophisticated class of buyer as well as one U.S., those in major cities stand to benefit
a surge in sales to energy-rich Russians, with pretenses of establishing a notable the most. But galleries in the interior of
Middle-Easterners, and Brazilians. Not collection. Money to spend will not be a the country can benefit as well, if they can
only are individuals boosting the market, but problem, because the majority of such art increase their exposure nationwide and
institutional sales to emerging economies buyers will be only superficially affected internationally. Whether among the upper
are rapidly expanding. New museums from by economic downtown. Over the past crust at home or the nouveau riche abroad,
Abu Dhabi to Shanghai are looking to fill decade, inequality in the U.S. has surged collectors want art. Such high demand
their collections and walls. to such a point that an upper portion of the bodes well. ACA

Up front: the art market 25


up front

museums

Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles


“Index: Conceptualism in California” [Aug 24 – Dec 15]

often use ironic distance to probe gender roles, From the mid-1970s onward, Kippenberger
sexuality, and the construction of indentity in produced a complex and richly varied body of
a media-saturated, corporatized culture. Not work, always focusing on the role of the artist
surprisingly, many of the creations transcend in culture. He cast himself as everything from
the boundaries between sculpture, painting, a publisher to an architect, and he produced
drawing, and performance. work in diverse media: paintings, sculpture,
works on paper, installations, multiples,
Martin Kippenberger photographs, posters, cards, and books.
[Sept 21 – Jan 5, 2009]

This German artist, who died at age 44 in On the Horizon: The first major survey
1997, receives his first major retrospective of Louise Bourgeois, currently featured
in the United States in this ambitious, large at the Guggenheim Museum, arrives on
scale exhibition, “The Problem Perspectives.” October 26.

Tapping the wealth of the museum’s


permanent collection, this exhibition draws
on the substantial holdings of work by artists
who have lived and created in the Golden
State. The evolution of conceptualism in
the state is one of the main themes of the
show, and it is visually represented by the
more than 200 works from over 60 artists.
Begun in the 1960s as a response to the pop
and minimalist movements, conceptual art
foregrounded ideas over objects by using
language, repetition, and cultural references.
As a result, it became an intellectually daring
discipline that set out to critique mass culture
and institutional dominance.
This exhibition looks at the movement
through a multi-generational lens that covers
P.S.1. Contemporary Art Center New York
“That Was Then...This Is Now” [through Sept 24]
over 40 years. The proto-conceptualist
works of Wallace Berman, Bruce Conner, This group exhibition is inspired by the The Flags section presents artists’
and Edward Kienholz transition into those artistic and socio-political climate of the interpretations of the American flag and
of John Baldessari, Guy de Cointet, Michael late 1960s, and features artists united by explores elements of nationality, patriotism,
Ascher, Ed Ruscha, and other artists from the the desire to mobilize art as a means of and iconography, as well as the debates
movement’s ascendancy. The exhibition is change. Divided into three iconographic invoked by these concepts. The Weapons
rounded out by work from the next generation, themes — Flags, Weapons, and Dreams — section surveys tools used to impart
who have merged the movement with the “That Was Then…This Is Now” places violence, both literal and psychological.
strategies of pop, minimalist, and feminist art. these representations as central to artists’ The Dreams section concludes with future-
These second-generation conceptionalists collective aspiration towards progress. oriented and activist art.

(top left) John Baldessari, Concerning Diachronic/Synchronic Time: Above, On, Under (with
Mermaid), 1976, six black-and-white photographs, 28.75" x 27.75". (middle) Martin Kippenberger,
The Happy End of Franz Kafka's "Amerika" at Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, 1994, up front: Museums 27
mixed media.
up front

museums

Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive


“Mahjong: Contemporary Chinese Art from the Sigg Collection” [Sept 10 – Jan 4, 2009]
unique look at four decades during the Cultural Revolution. It moves on
of Chinese culture and art. to illustrate the avant-garde movements of
The exhibition includes the 1980s and early 1990s, and also includes
141 works by 96 artists and works by a generation of artists who have
reveals the evolution of emerged following China’s social and politi-
Chinese art as well as the cal reforms of the past decade. Many of the
radical changes in Chinese works focus on Mao or the Cultural Revolu-
society from before the tion, as well as, somewhat later, Tiananmen
Cultural Revolution to Square. Others take on the rise of consumer-
the age of China as ism, the increasingly stark contrast between
emerging economic power- the urban and the rural, and the tensions
house. Drawn from the between social unity and individual expres-
collection of Uli Sigg, a sion. Works range from paintings, drawing,
Swiss collector who has and sculptures to photographs, video works,
If having just watched the fireworks (real built this impressive collection through his and installations. Featured artists include Ai
and faked) during the Olympics Opening ties to China, the scope of this exhibition Weiwei, Huang Yan, Liu Wei, Liu Xiaodong,
Ceremony from Beijing peaked your is unparalleled. In fact, it fills nine of the Wang Du, Weng Fen, Xu Bing, Yue Minjun,
interest in all things Chinese, the Berkeley museum’s ten galleries. Zhang Huan, and Zhang Xiaogang, as well
Art Museum has yet another fix. With their The survey begins in the 1970s, with as a number of artists still largely unknown
landmark exhibition, art lovers are offered a examples of the socialist realism favored outside of China.

Hischhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden DC


“Black Box: Semiconductor” [through Dec 14]

Artists Ruth Jarman and Joseph Gerhardt,


aka Semiconductor, have collaborated
since 1999 on various forms of “digital
noise and computer anarchy”, including
films, experimental DVDs, and multimedia
performances. The London-based pair
makes moving-image works that reveal
our physical world in flux: cities in motion,
shifting landscapes, and systems in chaos.
They strive to transcend the constraints of
time, scale, and natural forces and explore
the world beyond human experience,
questioning our very existence. Among the
shorts featured in the Black Box is Magnetic
Movie (2007), an eye-dazzling and award-
winning “documentary” created during the
artists’ residency at the NASA Space Sciences “For Gordon Bunshaft” [Permanent]
Laboratories, UC Berkeley. The secret lives
of invisible magnetic fields are exposed as This new site-specific work by Dan Graham a Japanese-inspired, wood grid on the third.
chaotic ever-changing geometries. VLF has been added to the Sculpture Garden. The piece provides a multiplicity of views
(very low frequency) audio recordings reveal Situated next to a reflecting pool in the and reflections, whether standing inside or
recurrent “whistlers” produced by fleeting lowest level of the Garden, the triangular out of the pavilion, and plays off many of the
electrons, while space scientists describe pavilion is constructed, on two sides, of two- other sculptures that surround it.
their discoveries. way mirrors (one flat, one concave), and of

(top left) Zhang Xiaogang, Red Child, 2005, oil on canvas; 78" x 120', Sigg Collection.
28 A|C|A Sept/Oct 2008 (bottom right) Superconductor, still from Magnetic Movie, 2007.
up front

museums

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Museum of Contemporary


“Double Down” [Sept 18 – Jan 4, 2009] Art North Miami
“Dark Continents”
[Sept 26 – Nov 9]

The artists in “Dark Continents” invoke


and challenge the suggested links between
femininity and nature. Referencing
historical moments in the work of Gauguin
and related artists in the late 19th and early
20th centuries, the exhibition questions the
aesthetics of the “primitive” and “exotic”
in modern art through a contemporary
lens. “Dark Continents” includes site-
specific installations, large-scale wall murals,
paintings, drawings, sculpture, video and
collage. Featured are works by Ida Ekblad,
Hadassah Emmerich, Naomi Fisher, Elke
Krystufek, Marlene McCarty, Claudia and
Julia Müller, and Paulina Olowska.

Las Vegas clearly has identity issues. Having using a tilt-focus lens that renders objects
reinvented itself many times over the years, out of scale, transforming the city’s
the one time mob-dominated outpost of iconic landmarks into toy-like simulacra.
gritty glitter has been transformed into an Beginning in the desert and emphasizing
international destination for family fun and the city’s isolation as well as its antipathy for
shopping. Even today, the city continually empty spaces and blank surfaces, Barbieri’s
alters itself through building demolitions camera travels along the outskirts of the
that yield extravagant new resorts. As a city before arriving at its pulsating nerve
result, Vegas remains an odd symbol in our center, the Las Vegas Strip. In No More
cultural imagination. Simultaneous utopian Bets, Dean homes in on the luminous and
and dystopia, it promises all but hints at colorful signs, screens, and surfaces that
the toll of overreaching. This exhibition make up Las Vegas, abstracting the visual
presents a complex portrait of America’s excess and revealing beautiful, unexpected
fastest growing city through the juxtaposition patterns within the city’s semiotic jumble.
of two recent films: Olivo Barbieri’s Las The two works will be shown on opposing
Vegas 05 and Stephen Dean’s No More Bets. walls, sequentially.
Barbieri films Las Vegas from a helicopter,

Hammer Museum
Tomma Abts John Lautner will reveal Lautner’s construction processes.
[through November 9] [through October 12]
Surrounding this dramatic core will be
Tomma Abts creates small, severe paintings This exhibition of the Southern Californian a wealth of archival materials, including
that provide an intriguing antidote to the architect’s work, “Between Earth and never-before-seen drawings, architectural
florid figuration that has dominated the Heaven,” features a design that is as visceral renderings, study models and construction
contemporary painting discourse in the last an experience as Lautner’s buildings photographs, all of which will offer visitors
decade. The exhibition includes fourteen themselves. Newly crafted large-scale models insight into how the structures and spaces
paintings, all of them the same size (19.8 x will give a sense of the internal spaces and unfolded in Lautner’s mind and emerged
15 inches). scale of key projects, and digital animations physically in their settings.

(top left) Olivo Barbieri, site specific LAS VEGAS 05, 2005, single-channel color video installation
with audio, 13 min. Courtesy of Yancey Richardson Gallery. (right) Elke Kristufek, Still from up front: Museums 29
A Film Called Wood, 2007, 50 min. Courtesy of Galerie Barbar Thumm.
up front

museums

• New Museum of Contemporary Art • Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit


“After Nature” [through Sept 21] “Broadcast” & “Becoming”
An international and multigenerational group of artists depict [September 12 – December 21]
a universe in which humankind is being eclipsed and a new ecological “Broadcast” explores ways in which artists since the late 1960s have
balance is sought. “A study of the present through a place in the engaged, critiqued, and inserted themselves into official channels
future.” of broadcast television and radio. “Becoming”, a collection of
photographic works from the Wedge Collection, explores themes
“2008 Altoids Award” [through Oct 12] of black identity by artists from Canada, the United States, and
This biennial exploration of American emerging art honors four throughout the African Diaspora. It offers a look at the evolving
panel-selected artists. This year, Ei Arakawa, Lauren Kelley, politics of representation and features historical as well as
Michael Patterson-Carver, and Michael Stickrod were chosen. contemporary responses to the quesiton of identity.

Coming in October: Elizabeth Peyton & Mary Heilmann • Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis
Lutz Bacher & Aïda Ruilova
• Contemporary Arts Museum Houston [Sept 12 – Jan 4, 2009]
Sam Taylor-Wood [through Oct 5] A site-specific, multi-channel video installation compliment other
Part of the British art movement that propelled artists like Damien works from Lutz Bacher’s forty-year career. Also showing are
Hirst and Tracey Emin, Taylor-Wood has since become renowned Aïda Ruilova’s video works, which include horror film aesthetics
for manipulating photography, film, and video into compelling and a jarring low-tech technique mixed with strong connections
psychological portraits. A selection of 29 works from the mid- to experimental music.
1990s to the present is included. Among them are photographs
of David Beckham asleep and Self Portrait Suspended, in which • Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago
the artist appears weightless in mid air. Jeff Koons [through Sept 21]
This survey features the artist’s most iconic sculptures, including
• Massachusetts MoCA many works from the museum’s collection. Works from his
Jenny Holzer [through Nov 16] time in Chicago during the 1970s are also included in a separate
Last chance to see the artist’s PROJECTIONS, a hypnotic interior exhibition, Everything’s Here [through Oct 26], which also features
light projection that fills up its massive gallery space. Holzer’s artists who influenced him.
recent paintings, of formerly classified government documents,
are in an adjoining gallery. [Also look for her show PROTECT • The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth
PROTECT at MCA Chicago beginning on October 28.] Kara Walker [through Oct 19]
The first full-scale American museum survey of the work of
• The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum Kara Walker includes her signature cut-paper silhouettes, film
Elizabeth Peyton [through Nov 16] animations, and over 100 works on paper. Her compositions play
A comprehensive exhibition of almost 50 photographs taken off stereotypes and grotesquely deconstruct plantation life in
between 1994 and 2008, including portraits of friends and the antebellum American South to create a subverted vision of
colleagues in the creative domain. [See also New Museum] the past.

“Video A” [through Dec 7] • Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art


Two video projects that map landscape from radical perspectives. Damien Hirst [through Dec 5]
In Jumping Nauman..., Miguel Soares uses Google Earth to Exhibition of the museum’s holding of Hirst work, including The
“visit” all fifty-one places that artist Bruce Nauman exhibited his Last Supper (1999) series.
work in 2006. Letha Wilson’s 16 Possibilities for an 8 Minute Car
Drive (Shelburne, Nova Scotia), meanwhile, depicts precisely what • Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego
it’s title suggests. “Memory is Your Image of Perfection”
[through November 30]
• Atlanta Contemporary Art Center This exhibition calls attention to subjectivity of memory and how
Paul Shambroom [Oct 3 – Nov 30] it allows individuals to create their own realities. The women
“Picture Power”, a mid-career survey of this Minneapolis-based artists featured in the show, motivated by a feminist disregard
artist, examines his photographic work. Included is a series that for established models, use the ambiguity of the photographic
looks at the democratic process through the lens of city council medium as expression of an individual viewport. Includes works
meetings. Nuclear and homeland security training sites are by Eleanor Antin, Uta Barth, Andrea Bowers, Suzanne Lacy,
also explored. Sharon Lockhart, Ana Machado, Yvonne Venegas, and others.

30 A|C|A Sept/Oct 2008 For more information, visit acamagazine.com.


up front

A rt events

Prospect.1 New Orleans


It’s not uncommon to see empty lots and will attend Prospect.1 New Orleans
blank spaces in post-Katrina New Orleans. in its inaugural run.
Since the hurricane ravaged the city in “The destruction in New
August 2005, much of the reporting from the Orleans was of a pretty massive
city has been related to the recovery effort, scale,” said Dan Cameron, the
with gloomy descriptions of the problems Founding Director and Chief
and struggles that the local population has Curator of Prospect.1 New Orleans.
faced. Art, especially contemporary visual “Since I love New Orleans and
art, is not something the national and really did want to be part of the
international public associate with the “City recovery, I thought I had to come
that Care Forgot”. up with something really big.”
But this will soon be changing. In The idea came to Cameron
November, 81 artists from more than 30 while meeting with local artists
countries will descend in early 2006.
upon the Crescent City to Since then, the
Three Years After the United States. The event invites artists,
participate in Prospect.1 project has grown to a
Katrina, New art buyers, critics, collectors and enthusiasts
New Orleans, the larg- massive scale. Prospect.1
Orleans Hosts the to take part in this historic event, which
est international contem- New Orleans will last 11
Largest Biennial of will showcase the best of contemporary art.
porary art biennial ever weeks, November 1, 2008,
International Art in Cameron describes the participating artists
organized in the United through January 18, 2009.
US History. as “the cream of the crop of contemporary
States. The emptiness still The planners predict the
art from all over the world.”
felt from a three-year-old use of at least 100,000
– Stephanie Kaston
wound will be filled with square feet of exhibition
vibrant, creative, and authentic contem- space, which will incorporate several
For more details, visit prospectneworleans.org.
porary art, sure to dazzle locals, national, neighborhoods and utilize existing galleries
and international visitors alike. The event’s and showrooms. Participating museums
planners estimate more than 100,000 people include the Ogden Museum of Southern Art,
the New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA)
and the Contemporary Art Center (CAC).
The program will also incorporate historic
buildings, such as the U.S. Mint in the
French Quarter and Battle Ground Baptist
Church in St. Bernard Parish.
The program will not only include new
art, but it will also incorporate programs
to help the local community. While the
economic implications of hosting the event
in New Orleans are yet to be explored, those
involved hope the hospitality of the city
will encourage the artists and patrons to
recognize New Orleans as a cultural hub in

Art 20 New York City


[Nov 7 - 10]

This art fair includes a significant amount of contemporary art and features such
dealers as Hollis Taggart Galleries, David Klein Gallery, and Nancy Hoffman Gallery.
It will be held at the Park Avenue Armory, with a preview on November 6 to benefit
Planned Parenthood.

(top right) Gary Ruddell, Litany Against Fear #2, oil on canvas. Courtesy Gallery Henoch.
(left) Marcia Myers, Frammento del Muro MMVIII-VI, fresco diptych on linen. Courtesy
Gebert Contemporary. (bottom right) Bernar Venetl, 88.5 Arc x 8, 2006, steel. Courtesy up front: Art events 31
David Klein Gallery.
up front

art events

SOFA Chicago
[Nov 7-9]

Denmark, Finland, exhibition will be devoted to the compelling,


China, Korea and surreal glass art of Venetian artist Lucio
Australia, join Amer- Bubacco. A master of the historic “lume”
ican blue-chip galler- glass technique, he draws from Greek,
ies to present dazzling Roman, and Byzantine classic art, as well
contemporary glass as medieval and renaissance theater and La
art. The latest work Commedia dell’Arte, for inspiration. The
from established art- SALON SOFA lecture series will feature top
ists like Lino Taglia- museum curators, professional art advisors,
pietra, Dale Chihuly, artists, collectors, interior designers, critics
Ruth Duckworth and art market journalists who will share
and William Hunter their professional and personal experiences
This year, the Sculpture Objects & Function- are complimented by emerging artists. All in the field.
al Art exposition celebrates its fifteenth an- of this draws large swaths of art advi-
niversary. SOFA Chicago debuted fourteen sors and collectors to this event. Mark
years ago at the city’s Sheraton Hotel and Lyman, founder/director of SOFA CHI-
Towers, with 58 exhibitors and 14,000 people CAGO and its sister show in New York,
attending. In 1995, it moved to Festival Hall says that “More than ever, the sophis-
at Chicago’s historic Navy Pier, where it re- ticated art community considers SOFA
mains today. Since then, this pioneering fair a vibrant and integral part of Chicago’s
has grown steadily in its number of exhibi- respected heritage of contemporary
tors, averaging approximately 100 galleries decorative arts and design.”
and dealers in recent years. Attendance has The fair will also host special
more than doubled. A record 35,000 people exhibitions and a lecture series. The
attended SOFA CHICAGO last year, and Association of Israel’s Decorative Arts
the fair was marked by brisk sales. (AIDA), which last year organized the hugely A special preview gala will be held on the
Dealers from over 13 countries, in- popular Offering Reconciliation exhibit, will evening of November 6. For more details, visit
cluding England, Ireland, Italy, France, again present this year. Another special sofaexpo.com.

USArists Philadelphia
[Oct 17-19]

The seventeenth annual incarnation of this


fair, one of the largest showcases of American
artists, provides the opportunity for visitors
to view and purchase 5,000 pieces of original
art. Over 50 leading art galleries from
across the U.S will be exhibiting. This vast
selection in one location attracts institution
and individuals adding to their collections.
Exhibiting galleries include Adelson of New
York, Papillon of West Hollywood, John
H. Surovek of Palm Beach, Contessa of
Cleveland, and Philadelphia-based Dolan/
Maxwell, among dozens of others.

A preview gala will be held on October 16. For


more details, visit usartists.org.

(top left) Katherine Gray, Tabletopiaries, 2008, hand-blown recycled glassbased on topiary at Palace
of Versailles, 23". Photo: P.J. Cybulski. Elliott Brown Gallery, Seattle, WA. (middle right) Jaroslava
32 A|C|A Sept/Oct 2008 Brychtová and Stanislav Libensky, Blue Pyramid, 1993, cast glass, 32" x 47" x 10". Photo: Spencer
Tsai. Barry Friedman Ltd, New York, NY. (above right) Shelley Thorstensen, Rhyme and Reason, 2005,
lino, litho, screenprint, relief, and collagraph, ed. 10, 29.5" x 41.5". Dolan/Maxwell Gallery.
KEVIN
ROBB

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tubjomftt!tuffm-!
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sculptural expressions in bronze and stainless steel


8112!Xftu!46ui!Bwf!!! ■!!!Xifbu!Sjehf-!DP!91144!!! ■!!!414!!542!!5869!!! ■!!!4eAlfwjospcc/dpn!!! ■!!!lfwjospcc/dpn
Anemotive Kinetic, 8/08, Powder Coated SS, 7' Sphere, Height Negotiable
Featured Exhibitions
from Galleries Across the Country

PHILADELPHIA CHICAGO

38 Polly Apfelbaum at Locks 49 Reena Saini Kallat at Walsh


38 Jacob Lunderby & Time Tate at Pentimenti 49 “INDUSTRIA” at FLATFILE
39 Sica & Moe Brooker at Sande Webster 49 Steve Hansen at Function+Art
39 Matthias Pliessnig at Wexler
40 “WYSIWYG” at Jenny Jaskey WASHINGTON DC
41 Alexis Serio at Bridgette Mayer
41 Donald Graham & Paul Cava at Gallery 339 50 John Trevino at District Fine Arts
50 Nancy Scheinman at Heineman Myers
NEW YORK
SEATTLE
42 Robert & Shana ParkeHarrison at Jack Shainman
42 Romare Bearden at DC Moore 51 Ted Fullerton at Foster/White
43 Alexey Kallima & Jennifer Steinkamp at 51 “A Matter of Memory” at McLeod Residence
Lehmann Maupin
43 Shigeru Oyatani at Kim Foster
DENVER
44 Iran Do Espírito Santo at Sean Kelly
44 Jane Hammond at Galerie Lelong
52 “Dialog: Denver” at Robischon
52 Jules Feiffer at Michel Mosko
LOS ANGELES 53 “Assemblage and Recyclates” at Translations

45 Max Jansons & Elizabeth Tremante at MINNEAPOLIS


Christopher Grimes
45 “Ultrasonic International III” at Mark Moore 54 “Genus elephas” at Premier
46 John Jurayj & Maria E. Piñeres at Walter Maciel 54 “Party Party...” at Form+Content
46 Julian Hoeber at Blum & Poe
47 Jody Zellen & “VF” at Fringe
47 Abel Auer, Armin Krämer, & Dorota Jurczak at SOUTHWEST
Michael Benevento
55 Paul Shapiro at Zane Bennett
55 Hector Ruiz & David Kessler at Bentley
SAN FRANCISCO

48 Roy Thurston & Anna Valentina Murch SOUTHEAST


at Brian Gross
48 Emilio Lobato, Gwen Manfrin & Wynne Hayakawa 56 Todd Schroeder & Patrick Kelly at 2CarGarage
at Andrea Schwartz 56 John LaHuis & Daniel Florida at Naomi Silva
56 A group show at Mason Murer
57 James Rosati at Jerald Melberg

Compiled by Jill Ryeth, Khalil Khoury, and Rachel Mann.

Look for expanded coverage of New Orleans and Miami in our next issue. Featured exhibitions 37
PHILADELPHIA

Polly Apfelbaum
Locks [Sept 2-30] Polly Apfelbaum’s highly boundaries between the nature of craft and
intricate fabric installations – the Pop design aesthetic. “Monochromes
works she describes as “fallen 2003-07” continues in this tradition. It brings
paintings” – burst with color together 4 large-scale floor works that have
and transcend their diverse not been previously exhibited together, each
antecedents. Comprised of of which presents a variation on flower
hundreds of individual dyed imagery. Limited to a single color with the
fabric pieces, Apfelbaum’s flowers outlined in black, these flower power
installations reference modern works line the gallery wall’s perimeter and
art history, including poured envelope the viewer like a cartoon garden
works of the 1950s. With brought to life. In addition, a series of the
their vibrant, saturated colors, artist’s 20 x 24 inch Polaroid images of her
Apfelbaum’s works explore flowers are on display.

Alexis Serio
Bridgette Mayer [Sept 2-27]

This fourth solo show of Alexis Serio features


small watercolors as well as medium-sized
works on paper. Entitled “Stillness”, the
exhibition represents a continuation of the
emotional expressiveness that has always
been central to Serio’s work. Evoking an
overwhelming sense of vastness, exploration,
and searching, her attention to the effect of
light on a landscape permeates her work.
With this series, the emotional intensity has
increased. Tree branches intertwine and
reach out together on small sections of subtle
color, leaving the rest of the space open
and vast. The watercolors, while small in
size, depict breezy ranges and open valleys,
conjuring up feelings of happiness, light,
and complexity. “Stillness” is Serio’s past
and present materialized and transferred
beautifully to paper, color, and line.

(top left) Polly Apfelbaum, installation Cartoon Garden, 2005. (center left) Apfelbaum,
Orange Crush, 2007, synthetic fabric and dye, 158" x 126". (center right) Apfelbaum,
38 A|C|A Sept/Oct 2008 Pink Crush, 2007, synthetic fabric and dye, 12' x 12'. (bottom left) Alexis Serio, Home-song,
2008, watercolor and graphite on paper, 3.75" x 5".
PHILADELPHIA

David Graham & Paul Cava


Gallery 339 [Sept 19 – Nov 8]
For over thirty years, David Graham has
traveled the United States, finding the
absurdities that we have created in our
landscape and of ourselves. His pictures
capture this dichotomy of American culture,
offering moments that are simultaneously
ridiculous and inspiring. This exhibition
features a selection of photographs from his
newest book, Almost Paradise. The included
images continue Graham’s pursuit of cultural
identity, although a certain uneasiness has
crept into the photographs. He documents
the effects of Hurricane Katrina and other
signs of decay in a once robust landscape. In
these new pictures, we see that a seemingly
boundless American optimism is both fluidly balances the tension
literally and figuratively running out of gas. between sumptuous roman-
“Heart of the Matter” features a ticism and a fragmented,
selection of Paul Cava’s sensual, intricately- contemporary ambiguity.
layered compositions that incorporate Yet, while complex and
original photography, found imagery, meticulously constructed,
painting, and drawing. The way that Cava they seem remarkably
assembles images is akin to constructing natural and honest, as if
verse or music. Working with a discrete, they must have always
carefully selected vocabulary, he layers, existed. They are like sad,
inverts, and otherwise alters this collection beautiful melodies that we
of visual metaphors to open a universe of know we have not heard,
new possibilities. Within each of these, he yet seem strangely familiar.

Matthias Pliessnig
Wexler [Sept 5 – Nov 1]
For Matthias Pliessnig, designing and
building gives rise to questions about the
nature of furniture and wood. He tries to
stay truer to the material by utilizing its
the elastic possibilities. He also combines
boat building techniques with those of
furniture construction. Describing his
work’s philosophy, he says, “For centuries,
we’ve been subverting wood to our will;
lumber mills and furniture factories spit
out rectilinear shapes that fit nicely into
trucks but have little to do with the inherent
properties of the tree.” In his first solo show,
Pliessniq demonstrates the potential of
wood by shaping it in ways that foreground
its underlying properties.

(top right) Paul Cava, Belatage Blue. (middle right) David Graham, Goodyear, AZ.
(bottom left) Matthias Pliessnig, Providence, 2008, stem bent oak, 132" x 80" x 36". Featured exhibitions 39
PHILADELPHIA

Sica & Moe Brooker


Sande Webster
Sica’s oeuvre stretches over the past half Moe Brooker’s “I Come To Dance
century and, for forty of those years, she My Joy” features new paintings
has been exhibiting at the Sande Webster that are vibrant, exhilarating, and
Gallery. Her extensive world travels have joyful. He paints with an established
been the most formative influence on her abstract vocabulary while pushing
work. These experiences are the under- his surfaces to new heights. Using
pinning of her exhibition, “Around the acrylic, encaustic and oil pastels,
World in 30 Works”. The people, daily life, Brooker creates color harmonies
music, and theater of each place she en- that are embedded with a sense of
counters inspire her life. In turn, personal time and space. The heavily layered
observation of diverse cultures, ancient and pigments overlap and create a
contemporary, reveal itself in her art. Sica unique experience of space filled
also has a deep reverence for the ritual of with movement and light. There
creating art every day. She finds freedom is also a musical quality to his
in repetition and continually discovers new paintings that combine composition
forms within her established process. She and improvisation. The resulting
creates prints, paper constructions, paint- images range from quietly soulful to
ings, metal sculptures, and ceramics. The exuberantly passionate. Brooker’s
works on paper often utilize metallic surfac- work demonstrates his optimistic
es allowing for inventive textures. Unique outlook on life. Such joie de vivre
surfaces are achieved by a combination of emanates from his paintings.
relief, inking, and collage. [Sept 2-30] [Oct 4 – Nov 4]

Jacob Lunderby & Tim Tate


Pentimenti Gallery [Sept 5 – Oct 18]
Motion pictures, as well as the contemplation
of social forces and possible alternative
realities, are the motivating forces behind
the work of Jacob Lunderby and Tim
Tate. Lunderby will feature paintings in
“The Smooth And The Striated”, and Tate
will show 10 videos and sculptures in
“Video Reliquaries, A Look Inside A
Digital Mind”.

(top center) Moe Brooker, I Come to Dance My Joy #3, mixed media on panel, 24" x 24".
40 A|C|A Sept/Oct 2008 (middle) Sica, Aswan (from the Nile Paintings), oil on canvas, 38" x 44". (bottom left) Jacob
Lunderby, Hangars, 2008, enamel pen, spray paint on panel, 30" x 40".
PHILADELPHIA

“WYSIWYG”
Jenny Jaskey [Sept 9 – Oct 18]
What you see is what you get. This group been taking pictures from her studio
exhibition, organized by Christopher Y. window. Rather than document urban
Lew of P.S.1 Contemporary, examines space, her images capture the atmosphere
abstract photography made through an and shadow play of New York’s gray winters.
inderdisciplinary approach. The six artists Spumes of steam merge with the overcast
included in the show create work that is as sky to produce near monochromes and road

informed by other media, such as sculpture markings form striated drawings. Avery
and science, as they are by photography. McCarthy presents a series of black-and-
Avoiding pure abstraction, the exhibited white contact prints called The Theory of
works are often “dirtied” by other practices Everything. Lifting scientific imagery from
and disciplinary, making the everyday into various online sources, McCarthy uses a
something abstract. systemic approach that finds equivalence
James Hyde defies the flatness of photo- among atoms, neurons, viruses, cosmic
graphic prints by making use of sculptural bodies, and mathematical models.
and painterly strategies. Hyde applies paint Colin Montgomery’s photograph
and attaches objects to photographs of made specifically for the exhibition creates
scaffolding and other architectural forms, a network of foam and spray taken from
highlighting the rhythmic and musical images of a boat’s wake. Almost sculptural
qualities of the composition. Seemingly in form, the large-scale print alludes to both
improvisatory, the aural and visual combine the microscopic and the cosmic. This broad
and recombine to synesthetic affect. vision is fitting for an age in which seemingly
Summer Kemick’s installation of snapshot- benign travel can have global climatic
sized prints made in her native Hawaii forms impact. Paul Salveson’s black-and-white
a cloud of vibrant color and textures. The photographs are informed by DIY ‘zines and
arrangement of successive images suggests role playing games. Salveson’s prints were
the drama of a narrative arc without any made with the intention of being cheaply
explicit meaning, stemming from a place of reproducible via desktop laser printers or
memory and ebullience. photocopying machines where mid-tones
An artist who mainly works in sculpture are often abandoned for the high contrast
and installation, Sungmi Lee has recently grit of true black and white.

(left side) Sungmi Lee, White Air (triptych), 2006-8, edition 1/3, c-print on aluminum, 11" x 14".
(right) James Hyde, Gusting, 2007, acrylic on digital print, wood blocks, 20.5" x 30.5". Featured exhibitions 41
NEW YORK

Robert and Shana ParkeHarrison


Jack Shainman [Oct 10 – Nov 8]

In their first exhibition in New York in meddling. In contrast to their earlier staged
years, Robert and Shana ParkeHarrison photographic works, in this new work, the
examine the contested legacy of science and ParkeHarrisons use proportion and space
technology as a vehicle for progress. Entitled that are more compositional than natural.
“Counterpoint”, this work represents a new They also blur movement and allow objects
aesthetic for the artists, with the tightly closed and persons to be juxtaposed in a kind of
narrative discarded in favor of abstraction unfolding choreography. As a result, the
and visual improvisation. Eschewing any visceral sensation of the work is heightened
type of resolution, and feeding ambiguity to a new level.
at every point, they provide
insight into the failure of
technology to fix our problems,
offer concrete explanations, and
create certainty about the world.
Scenes of “hybridizing forces,
swarming elements, and bleeding
overabundance” emphasize
the unpredictability of nature,
further intensified by human

Jane Hammond
Galerie Lelong [Sept 4 – Oct 11]
These new works by Jane Hammond merge
photography and collage, yet hold true to
the artist’s fascination with how meaning
is constructed. Accompanied by the wit,
careful attention to detail, and subtle
audacity that are the artist’s hallmarks,
Hammond recontextualizes found images
into imagined scenarios that are unique and
uncanny, yet oddly familiar. Although she
previously worked on paintings that used
a fixed vocabulary, she has been focused
mainly on photography since 2004. The
photographs employ the same inventiveness
and irreverence as in her other works, yet
in a medium associated with fact and the
historical record. When, in Panchatantra,
a nude bather poses happily in a stream the harmony of the photograph’s formal [Hammond’s work is also being exhibited at
alongside a long-tusked elephant, the image elements. Also on view will be large the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver
reads as tender, idyllic, and completely “snapshot” works in which Hammond has and will be on display at the Detroit Institute
plausible. In Cabrito, the oddity of an collected vernacular portraits and inserted of Arts beginning on Oct 1.]
anthropomorphized goat practicing archery herself into each one, presenting the viewer
in the mountains among sheep is offset by with a panoramic album containing an array
a sense of familiarity with the scenery and of identities.

Robert and Shana ParkeHarrison: (top left) Red Tide, 2007, inkjet and acrylic on dibond,
50" x 60". (middle left) The Crossing, 2005, inkjet and acrylic on dibond, 46" x 60". (top right)
42 A|C|A Sept/Oct 2008 Elegy, 2007, inkjet and acrylic on dibond, 60" x 91". (bottom right) Jane Hammond, Cabrito, 2007,
selenium-toned silver gelatin print, 11" x 14". Galerie Lelong, New York.
NEW YORK

Iran Do Espírito Santo


Sean Kelly [Sept 5 – Oct 18]
In “Deposition,” Brazilian pictorial light, creating a conceptual
artist Iran do Espírito Santo’s interplay between the two. The
new work is divided into two second part of the exhibition
sections. En Passant, a site- includes two large granite sculptures,
specific painting, includes Desposition 1 and Desposition 2.
simulated modulations of light Both are over-sized framed pictures
on walls, depicted in various in which the frame and the image
gradations of the color gray. are created from the same material.
As in past work, Espírito In blurring the line between the
Santo succeeds in transforming two, Espírito Santo has produced
the architectural space in monumental sculpture that reference
which he works. The wall both functionality and design inside the
painting becomes a precise tradition of Minimalism. Perception
depiction of a photographic remains key to both works as he
gray scale that combines natural constantly deconstructs the experience
light and a representation of of viewer.

Alexey Kallima & Jennifer Steinkamp


Lehmann Maupin [Sept 4 – Oct 18]
After twice being com- Much like Bell Labs earlier experiment, uses an expressive language, he nonetheless
missioned in recent years Steinkamp links her artwork to the use of references historical paintings. In such work,
to create high-profile mu- human innovation to recreate nature. he probes the ongoing Russia/Chechen con-
seum installations (first for [Bowery Location, 201 Chrystie] flict and his own personal experiences as
the Denver Art Museum’s In his first solo gallery exhibition in New a refugee. A series entitled Chechnya’s
Libeskind-designed build- York, Alexey Kallima will present new work, Women’s Team of Parachute Jumping and
ing, then for the Getty Mu- including a site specific installation. A refu- Its Virtual Fans recalls the segregated teams
seum’s Meier-deigned build- gee from Grozny, Chechnya, Kallima fled to that Kallima remembers from childhood.
ing), Jennifer Steinkamp Moscow shortly after the Russian invasion Even so, Kallima imagines an utopian world
presents a new series in in 1994. The turmoil of this experience is in his work, one in which ethnicity is not an
New York. Entitled “Dai- reflected (often directly) in his political- all-encompassing reality. For his installa-
sy Bell”, the installation charged paintings and installations. Among tion, Kallima will plaster the walls with polit-
explores the relationship the included work are a series of new, large ical imagery from magazine and newspaper
between human creation scale paintings. Although his work often articles. [Chelsea location, 540 W 26th]
and natural world. Like her
previous work, it seeks to
transform the gallery space
into a unique environment.
Its title refers to Bell Labs
use of an IBM 704 to synthesize a popular
nineteenth century song of the same name.
This 1962 event was followed six years later by
a more famous iteration of the song, by HAL
9000 in 2001: A Space Odyssey, during a poi-
gnant scene in which the computer’s “mind”
is destroyed. Steinkamp’s installation is com-
prised of images of poisonous flowers that
appear to cascade down the gallery walls.

(top left) Iran Do Espirito Santo, En Passant (detail), 2008. Photo: Mauro Restiffe. Photo courtesy
of Sean Kelly Gallery, New York. (bottom left) Jennifer Steinkamp, Daisy Bell, 2008. (bottom right) Featured exhibitions 43
Alexey Kallima, to be titled, 2008, coal and sanguine on paper, 8.27" x 11.42".
NEW YORK

Shigeru Oyatani
Kim Foster [Sept 4 – Oct 4]
Raised in Japan but having work through the accumulations of thin
resided in New York for layers of oil paint. In many of these works,
several years, Shigeru Oyatani carefully marks the surfaces with
Oyatani creates hybrid works small strokes of imagery in bright hues,
that bridge traditions Each often against dark monochromatic expanses
and West. From selection of of architectural details. Representations of
color, composition, and form the natural as well as the constructed world
to the subjects he chooses, collide until the viewer is able to reconcile
his works blend the visual the two by focusing on the details.  Oyatani’s
vocabularies of disparate work combines elements of abstraction
cultures. This new exhibition, and representation, pattern and grid, and
“Third Plane”, includes surface and illusion. Upon close inspection,
paintings that reflect this in several layers begin to emerge, creating a
their complex visual layering. space in which dimensions collapse into
Excavation is required to alternative realities.

Roman Bearden
DC Moore [Sept 4 – 27]
study in Paris. Known best for his collages
of African American life, his New York
paintings reflect some of the spirit of jazz
culture; they burst with improvisation and
even a sense of rhythm. He expresses the
intensity of the urban environment through
the interaction of colors hot and cool.
Pink, oranges, yellows, and reds combine
with greens, purple, and blues. Vivid skies
dominate in several of the works, including a
New York City is the star of twenty works by low hanging moon in New York, New York.
Romare Bearden (d. 1988). Entitled “City In others, the skyline and its multitude of
Lights”, the exhibition features expressive densely packed buildings contrast with lively
watercolors, some with paper collage, that street scenes filled with people. Untitled
capture the energy of the city. The highly (Woman Leaning on a Chair), conversely,
charged compositions were painted between regulates the city to the role of backdrop for
1979 and 1986, including several of which the nude in front of a window. Ultimately,
were done for the opening credits of Gloria, while invoking a past era in which New York
John Cassavettes’ 1980 film. Bearden lived was a much different place, these works
most of his life in New York, growing up in demonstrate the timelessness of the city as
Harlem during its Renaissance and returning character. [Evening Light, a group exhibition,
to the city after service in World War II and will run concurrently.]

(top center) Shigeru Oyatani, Natsu, 2008, oil on canvas, 24" x 24". Kim Foster Gallery
(bottom left) Romare Bearden, From the Waterfront, 1981, watercolor, 13.88" x 19.5".
44 A|C|A Sept/Oct 2008 DC Moore Gallery, New York. (bottom right) Romare Bearden, Narrow Sky Line, watercolor,
13.5" x 9.13". DC Moore Gallery, New York.
LOS ANGELES

Max Janson & Elizabeth Tremante


Christopher Grimes [Sept 5 – Oct 11]
Battling against the barrage of high-speed media “I paint to experience the pleasure of seeing
in our culture, Max Jansons seeks to create a and the pleasure of painting these things,” he
“slow and intimate experience”, bolstered by says. “The exchange that exists within the work
vintage techniques and classical ingredients. In between the old and the new acts as a metaphor
this sense, he resembles a chef advocating slow- for the project and process of painting.”
food in a world dominated by processed, fast
food. But if Alice Waters can do it and succeed, Although Elizabeth Tremante falls within the
so can he. Janson uses nature and antiquated landscape painting traditions of observation
objects as subjects and constructs his paintings drawings and studies of the natural world, she
with linen primed in lead, paint ground in aged challenges the emphasis on panorama. Instead,
oil, and pigments whose sources are extinct. she seeks to exploit abstractions of space, form,
By creating work inspired by daily life, he and color. In doing so, her work captures an
has aligned himself with historical American intimate, active, and assertive depiction of
painters. Janson likes to “blur the distinction the landscape – a stark contrast to the passive
between the abstract and material world.” He illustration typically associated with the
also considers himself a painter of things. method.

“Ultrasonic International III”


Mark Moore [Sept 6 – Oct 25]
In this third installment of the gallery’s personal reflection. Featured are Anders Bojen
annual Ultrasonic International show, the & Kristoffer Orum, Brian Bosworth, Walpa
theme is “back to basics” and it’s reflected D’Mark, Damien Deroubaix, Per Enoksson,
in the title, “Elementary, My Dear Watson”. Brian Getnick, Christine Gray, Philip Gurrey,
Explorations of the self dominate the work of Lia Halloran, Peter Lamb, Olivier Millagou,
the sixteen chosen artists. Their art creations Jered Sprecher, Villeroy & Boch, and
are investigations of individual obsessions and Matt Wardell.

(top left) Elizabeth Tremante, Twilight, Spring Rain, 2007, oil on canvas, 48" x 48". (center left)
Peter Lamb, Soldier, Spy, 2008, archival digital print on bibond, LED lights and acrylic, 78" x
48". (bottom right) Damien Deroubaix, Sans Titre (lion rouge), 2008, watercolor, ink, acrylic, Featured exhibitions 45
and collage on paper, 59.1" x 78.7".
LOS ANGELES

John Jurayj & Maria E. Piñeres


Walter Maciel [Sept 6 – Oct 25]
Patriarchy and its failures inhabit the space event. The installation as a whole quite
of John Jurayj’s show “Untitled (We Could literally explodes and collapses the platonic
Be Heroes)”. Jurayj continues to explore integrity of any one individual painting.
beauty and destruction within the same Each work is in a continuous alteration by
pictorial frame, employing imagery from the the viewer, the gallery, and the reflection
ongoing Lebanese conflict. Remembrance of the other paintings. This heterogeneous
of traumas past are a dominant thread of his approach suits a splintering, fragmented
work, causing it to transcend generational and trail that meanders from the personal to the
cultural boundaries. This show introduces a social and back.
major new work, 15 Untitled Men, a series Libertango, a solo show of new work by
of gunpowder images that depict key power Maria E. Pineres, takes on sexually charged
players of the Lebanese Civil War, including themes by referencing a song of the same
Yasser Arafat, Menachem Begin, Hafez al- name by Grace Jones, in which a mysterious
Assad and Pierre Gemayel. Scaled to the size man lurks around at night in 1970s Paris.
of an embassy portrait, these “negative ghost Continuing her traditional use of needlepoint
images” – screened on mirrored stainless as her medium, Piñeres explores color,
steel – posit a compressed Oedipal space of pattern, and disposition of a single subject,
father, son and viewer. Violence is inscribed a typical gay pin-up boy from that era. The
throughout on multiple levels of time, form, nude portrait is presented in contrasting
and image. It is represented as both a past colors within complex backdrops, perhaps
event (the burning of the eyes on the initial as a metaphor for the different experiences
digital images) and an ever-present future by the urban dweller in the song. Vibrant
possibility (the potential explosiveness of colors are used in a formulated format to
the gunpowder surface). compare and contrast the different poses of
Julian Hoeber the subject. The works also draw reference
Opposite these images are a group of
Blum & Poe [Sept 6 – Oct 18]
new paintings on colored mirrored plexiglas. to the commercial aspects of repeated
This exhibition of new work, "All That is Solid Abstractions are mixed with scenes of imagery so central to Pop Art. Ultimately,
Melts into Air", includes the Los Angeles- destroyed buildings and night bombings. In Piñeres both reclaims the traditional use of
based artist's Op Art works on paper, as well fact, the introduction of mirrored plexiglas as needlepoint as an craft and presents a new
as a series of bronze sculptures. This is his “canvas” into the more traditional painting format that allows for a dialogue within the
third solo show at Blue & Poe. space implicates the viewer into historical context of contemporary art.

Cropped by Publisher.
See full image at www.acamagazine.com.

(clockwise from bottom right) Maria E. Piñeres, Gay Guy 3, 2008, cotton thread on metallic coated
paper, 9" x 5 3/4". Julian Hoeber, Spiral and Splatter #2, 2008, graphite, ink, acrylic on paper,
46 A|C|A Sept/Oct 2008 42.5" x 53". Hoeber, Untitled, 2008, bronze, 9" x 8.5" x 16", photo: Joshua White. John Jurayj,
Untitled (Elie Hobeika) from the “15 Untitled Men Series”, 2008, gunpowder and silkscreen on
stainless steel, 30" x 24".
LOS ANGELES

Jody Zellen
Fringe [Sept 6 – Oct 4]
“The Blackest Spot”, an interactive and a cacophony of cheers, the many facets technology with simple structures, assisted
installation by Jody Zellen, uses Elias of public gatherings will be explored. Lewis Zellen by programming the electronics for
Canetti’s Crowds and Power as its point Keller, an L.A. Based artist who combines this project.
of departure. Canetti speaks of crowds as
a mysterious and universal phenomenon
whose density creates the “blackest spot”.
Using images of crowds culled from the
daily newspaper, Jody Zellen explores the
representation of crowds and the myriad
of reasons for public gatherings. Animated
imagery, fragments of sounds from well-
known historical speeches, and drawing will
transform the gallery space and place the
viewer in the role of audience or speaker. As
viewers interact with triggers strategically
placed on the floor of the space, they will be
able to choreograph their own experience.
Alternating between contemplative quiet

[Concurrently, John Craig Freeman and Will Pappenheimer present “Virta-Flaneurazine


(VF)”, a new drug that enhances the experience of Second Life, a 3-D virtual world. Through
this Rhizome-supported convergence, they create an interactive, new media experience that
transcends the boundaries of reality and art.]

Abel Auer, Armin Krämer, and Dorota Jurczak


Michael Benevento [Sept 12 – Oct 22]
Both Abel Auer and Armin Krämer use fig- origins, while her figures are predominantly
ures as well as landscapes influenced by a indebted to Eastern European iconography
combination of Central European iconogra- and its rich tradition of Post-War illustration.
phy and the vivid color schemes of the late- In Jurczak’s menacing, imaginary scatologi-
1980s and early-1990s skater culture. In both cal world, the cast of characters is comprised
their takes on landscape painting, a saturat- of anthropomorphized birds and spiders,
ed palette brings to life rural and historical along with bizarre human figures. Placed
settings. These works owe little to traditional in both traumatic and humorous scenar-
modes of representation and ignore the ba- ios, these inhabitants reveal the nuances
sic laws of perspective. Jurczak’s fantastical of life’s pleasures and pains. The overall
and nightmarish works merge influences effect resembles the playful world of
from folklore and mythology, with inventions children’s book illustrations, where botani-
of her own imagination. Her etchings, often cal and architectural anachronisms co-exist
with an aged patina, belie their contemporary in harmony.

(left) screenshot from Second Life, enhanced with "VF". (top right) Jody Zellen, installation
view of "The Blackest Spot". (bottom right) Armin Krämer, Frau Mit Hut 1, oil on canvas, Featured exhibitions 47
27.5" x 19.7".
SAN FRANCISCO

Emilio Lobato III


Andrea Schwartz Gwen Manfrin and Wynne Hayakawa
Emilio Lobato’s solo exhibition, “Tomando A two-person show in October combines
Medida” (Taking Measure), refers not recent work by Gwen Manfrin and Wynne
only to the process of producing geometric Hayakawa. Manfrin’s portraits offer a
forms, but also to the constant self reflection chance encounter with the intimacy of the
so integral to the creative act. Lobato’s individual at any moment in time. The poses
work has been inspired by both his rural are often uncomfortably confrontational,
upbringing and current urban existence. reflecting the teenage angst experienced by
The combination of growing up on a family many young girls. Hayakawa works from
farm in Colorado and secluding himself landscape, sketching and painting on paper.
daily in his studio have helped him realize She nears complete abstraction in her large
how stark surroundings enable him to focus oil paintings, which maintain references to
on the power of imagination and creation. the light, colors, and forms of the outdoors.
[Sept 3 – Oct 3] [Oct 7 – Nov 7]

Roy Thurston and Anna Valentina Murch


Brian Gross [Sept 4 – Nov 1]
an extremely labor-intensive process. and landscape surrounding the space of
The ultimate result are sculptures with a the installation and uses this to create an
purity that lends itself to contemplation by experience that incorporates light, water,
the viewer. and sound. In Dissolving, the Bay Area
As an environmental artist, Anna artist exhibits photographic prints that ex-
Valentina Murch considers the constant plore the ways in which environments are
flux, fragility, and beauty of the natural en- rendered when reflected in water. Images
vironment through images created by light of plant life are shown disappearing,
reflecting on water. Mostly known for her dissolving in the water. Her photographic
large-scale, public installation, she often investigations ask questions about the
works collaboratively with architects, en- fragility of an organic world in which
gineers, and other artists. In such works, ice caps are melting and environmental
she draws inspiration from the history changes threaten us all.

Los Angeles artist Roy Thurston, known for


his minimal painted wall reliefs, opens a solo
exhibition of new work comprised of metal
or wood. In this collection, he investigates
pure abstraction and phenomenological
experience using subtle color shifts on
three-dimensional planes. Although he
considers himself a painter, much of his
work has been on three-dimensional forms.
Beginning in the 1970s, he painted on
aluminum and other metals. Most recently,
he has started milling the metal surfaces,

(top center) Gwen Manfrin, There are Demons in These Days, 2008. (middle left) Roy Thurston,
48 A|C|A Sept/Oct 2008 2007-2, 2007, 17.25" x 6.06" x 1.5". (lower right) Anna Valentina Murch, Dissolving (0867), 2008,
40" x 25.7".
CHICAGO

Reena Saini Kallat “INDUSTRIA”


Walsh [Sept 5 – Oct 11] FLATFILE [Sept 5 – Oct 24]
This solo show is the first in the U.S. for Not in my back yard! This familiar refrain throughout this exhibition. [Two video works
the Mumbai-based artist. Reena Saini of aggrieved suburbanites takes on new by localstyle, Fluid Mechanics Remix and
Kallat’s works, all of which were created this meaning in Ryan Zoghlin’s NIMBY, a series Prick, will also be displayed.]
year, confront the vulnerability of human of photographs that explore homes located
existence. Synonym, a series of sculptural near large industrial elements. A sense of
paintings, is composed of several hundred foreboding looms over the large images,
stamps with the names of people on them. but a sense of humor breaks the tension.
While a close view reveals the lettered The contrast between rustic dwelling and
components, from afar the parts coalesce to the behemoth of industry reinforces both
form portraits. The stamps themselves have elements. In addition to Zoghlin’s work,
further significance, though, as upon them “INDUSTRIA” will also feature a series
are names of missing persons, rendered in entitled, Energy, by Dimitre. These works
over twelve languages that represent the were created as part of a project for Exelon,
diversity of India. Not only does Kallat a Chicago energy company. A sculpture by
explore those lost or hidden in Indian Terrence Karpowicz rounds out the show.
society, she also looks at an external anxiety: Composed of actual industrial items, the
the fragile and at times tense relationship sculptures evoke the essence of industry.
between India and Pakistan. White Heat is Karpowicz emphasizes the “tension at
a sculpture of an over-sized iron placed on the point of contact between disparate
a seemingly dysfunctional ironing board, materials.” Such tensions are present
while the iron itself is packed with weapon-
like projections. The fabric waiting to be Steve Hansen
ironed is embroidered with the names of Function+Art [Sept 5 – Oct 16]
those who signed a petition of peace between
In his new show, ceramist Steve Hansen
the two countries along with multiple
transitions his theme from the selling of
maps of disputed territories between the
goods to the selling of ideological “truths”.
nations. Kallat’s work reveals much about
He approaches Propaganda, the name
the national psyche, in a society struggling
of this new series and also its underlying
with diverse identities and the potential for
concern, as if it were any other mythology,
conflict both internal and external.
religion, or product. Filtering everything
through a Pop Art lens, this new work takes
iconography from actual propaganda posters
from a variety of countries. In fact, Hansen
noticed astounding parallels between the
works produced by disparate countries,
from Germany to Japan and Russia, even
America. Foreground in most, according
to Hansen, are appeals to the “fear of the
Other”, an attempt “to demean the enemy”
through exaggerated and stereotypical racial
portrayals. The army, of course, is most often an unique opportunity for comparison and
the desired beneficiary of popular support analysis between the commidification of
in these campaigns. Similarities not only state versus that of consumer goods. Much
exist between countries but also between like Andy Warhol’s marketable images
state propaganda and what some might of Mao, which Hansen references as an
consider its capitalist successor, advertising. antecedent, these series demonstrate the
Hansen’s God of Commerce is also included irony of competing ideologies within the
in this exhibition, providing the viewer with same art object.

(above left) Reena Saini Kallat Synonym mixed media 88 x 84", (top right) Dimitre Electric
Tower Photograph 18 x 22. (above right) Steve Hansen Lenin Tea Sculpture. Featured exhibitions 49
W A S H I N G T O N, D.C .

Nancy Scheinman John Trevino


Heineman Myers [Oct 4 – Nov 8] District Fine Arts [Sept 6 – Nov 8]
The narrative paintings of “What Comes Next”, a new series of
Nancy Scheinman incorpo- photographs by artist John Trevino, examines
rate a fascinating array of dreams and memory created as the residual of
techniques, drawing from human interaction. His images build on this
the ancient and modern, theme by documenting his friends, colleagues,
Eastern and Western. She and acquaintances wearing water polo caps
also uses a wide variety of customized by the artist. Worn on players’
materials, such as hand-em- heads during water polo matches, caps take
bossed and patented copper, the place of jerseys in other team sports. As a
antique tin, paper, bronze form, they represent striking juxtapositions in
wire cloth, ceramic, canvas design, part helmet, part cartoon. This “tough
and gold leaf on wood panel. sensitivity” also characterizes much of the sport
Scheinman’s exquisite col- itself, which can be quite brutal, yet at times
lages resemble tapestries exhibits the gracefulness of a ballet. Taken out
for their many rich textures, of this context, Trevino transforms the caps
lustrous natural colors, and and the wearers into a strange and mysterious
narrative qualities. “My collective force or team on the verge of some
work deals with the basic kind of unknown action. Captured against
universal questions and feel- environments Trevino frequents around the
ings we all have about life,” city as part of his routine, the work becomes
she says. a meditation on those locations and the people
in his life.
[The Trawick Prize: Bethesda
Contemporary Art Awards,
a juried art competition, will
also be hosted at Heineman
Myers. The three honorees will
be chosen from 15 finalists,
among them Maggie Michael
(see page 82) The exhibition
runs Sept 3-27.]

[District Fine Arts will also


present a special event,
“Hit Me With Music!”, at
a Bloomingdales location in
Chevy Chase, MD. The group
show, which runs from Sept 5
through Sept 14, will feature
photographs by Leon Armour
Jr. and Chester Simpson, as well
as paintings by Leah Tinari.]

(Left side from top) Nancy Scheinman: Unzip the Sky – Morning Light, Vermillion Clothes of Brocade
50 A|C|A Sept/Oct 2008 Leaves, Hem of Sky Undone. (Right) John Trevino, Bill, 2008, pigment print.
SEATTLE

Ted Fullerton
Foster/White [Sept 3-19]
In his new exhibition, “Godot Will Not Be to or interpreted with myth that alludes
Coming Today”, Ted Fullerton seeks to to ‘dualism’ – or the personification of the
reach the boundaries of figural creation force of nature as well as human nature –
through painting and sculpture. This body and this conceptual ideology addresses the
of work, conceptually based on Samuel notion of the reconciliation of opposites.
Beckett’s existentialist play Waiting For The idea of ‘distinctiveness’ has also evolved
Godot, includes drawings that incite within my work, allowing consideration for
existentialist discourse. Fullerton sees the breadth of existentialist positions.” His
existentialism as fundamentally humanist exploration of diverse media demonstrates
and uses this conception to propel his just how compelling the human figure can be.
investigation of the figural and symbolic. Religious and mythical overtones coupled
Says Fullerton, “my imagery is symbolic and with Fullerton’s expressionistic brush strokes
metaphoric by nature, usually associated raise his figures into an ethereal realm.

“A Matter of Memory”
McLeod Residence [through Sept 27]

Made up of several components, this


exhibition focuses mainly on the work
of Robert Zverina and Allison Kudla.
Zverina’s contribution, memory (w)hole,
explores the importance of tangible artifacts
in an increasingly digital age, one in which
information has become more ephemeral
and history can be revised with just a few
keystrokes. The title references George
Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, a novel in
which history is constantly being rewritten,
with the old versions being tossed into the
“memory hole” – an incinerator. Accordingly,
memory (w)hole is a play on words that
implies we inhabit a space between total
recall and utter amnesia. Where one falls
on that spectrum is a conscious choice.
Zverina’s obsession with documenting life’s
everyday details through video, writing, documentary in a process he’s dubbed Pattern is made of living plant matter that
and photography puts him firmly towards “autobioanthropolography”, a combination takes on the form of a man-made decorative
one end. Included in this exhibition are of autobiography and anthropology. His pattern and explores a territory where
short films that he shot on a digital pocket hope is that these vignettes combined with human constructions are present in the
camera. Zverina carries his camera objective data will provide a useful glimpse at genetic formations of living systems. Leaves
wherever he goes and shoots films daily, a subjective history of the early 21st century. are shaped by a digital image and suspended
ranging from one to 30 seconds in length. In an adjacent parlor, Zverina will exhibit in square-tiled petri dishes that contain
He then selects the best clips, annotates photographic prints and various artifacts. necessary nutrients to keep the plants alive.
them with descriptive keywords and logs the Allison Kudla will create an installation Viewers will witness subtle changes in color
date, location, and subject of each micro- that will evolve over time. Decorative Growth and texture over the duration of the exhibit.

(top left) Ted Fullerton, Existence, Essense, 2008, oil on canvas, 60" x 48".
(bottom right) Allison Kudla, Plant matter, detail, 2008. Featured exhibitions 51
DENVER

technology. His video project is constructed uniquely-themed, original artwork for ex-
with a dedicated group of Japanese Barack hibition. These placards will later be ex-
Obama supporters who happen to reside in hibited at the “UnConvention” (see page
a city that shares a name with the candidate: 74), Minneapolis’ equivalent of “Dialog”.
Obama, Japan. Taking on the the language Among them is Sarah McKenzie’s Katrina
of politics more directly, Luke Dubois’ Water Lines, which evokes queries and rage
Hindsight is Always 20/20 utilizes an eye- about the country’s reaction to the natural
chart format to explore the linguistics of disaster of Hurricane Katrina. Other artists
DIALOG: Denver the presidency in American history. Words address topics as far ranging as war, waste-
Robischon [through Sept 20]
from State of the Union addresses appear ful spending, the treatment of animals, and
Presented in association with “Dialog: City arranged in descending order from the most the cultural dissonance between Americans’
– An Event Converging Art, Democracy frequently used to the least. Not surprisingly, perception of themselves and those percep-
and Digital Media,” this group exhibition “terror” dominates those of George W. tions that people hold of them elsewhere.
of over 25 artists serves as a response to Bush. Other highlights include DJ
the Democratic National Convention. The Spooky’s feature video “Terra Nove:
diverse show focuses on various aspects The Antartica Suite” (shown off-
of our experience. Harking back to past site) and Lynn Hershman Leeso’s
eras but also aiming at the present, Ann alter ego Synthia.
Hamilton’s spinning two-bell sousaphone Robischon has also commis-
plays a continuous recording of old, sioned a political placard design
distorted military marches. Conversely, invitational, in which sixteen select
Daniel Peltz grounds his work in the media Colorado artists with a history of
of today by investigating the global impact of presenting political subjects have
political connections in the age of cell-phone been invited to each contribute a

Jules Feiffer
Michele Mosko [through Nov 2]
Over forty prints, illustrations, and political in addition to an Oscar-winning short,
cartoons of the Pulitzer-prize winning comic Munro, that took a critical view of military
artist Jules Feiffer will be presented just in culture. In 1967, he received an Obie Award
time for the Convention. Feiffer, whose for his play Little Murders. Coincidentally,
syndicated cartoon ran for over 40 years in Feiffer even has a connection to Convention
the Village Voice, has also been featured in politics. He was a delegate at the infamous
the New Yorker, Esquire, Playboy, the Nation, 1968 Democratic Convention, and much of
and the New York Times. These cartoons his work comes from that explosive era. The
weaved the social, political, and personal into talent and insight behind all of these pursuits
a challenging and often hilarious mix. This makes itself clear in the works on display.
unique sensibility can be found in his wide-
ranging work. Feiffer has authored award-
winning children’s books and is currently
working on a full-length animation feature
for Sony Pictures. This will not be his first
foray into film, as he wrote the screenplay
for Carnal Knowledge, a film that starred
not only Jack Nicholson but Art Garfunkle,

(top right) Ann Hamilton, Sousaphone, 2004. (middle right) Sarah McKenzie, Katrina Water Lines, 2008.
52 A|C|A Sept/Oct 2008 (bottom left) Jules Feiffer, Admit It. You Miss Me., 2007, charcoal on paper, 8.5" x 14". (bottom right)
Jules Feiffer, Obama, Ourbama., 2008, limited edition print, 15" x 11".
DENVER

“Assemblage And Recyclates”


Translations [through Sept 12]

Over the past few years, green culture


has infiltrated everything. All kinds of
commodities now have eco-friendly
components, or campaigns associated
with them. The trend has reached as
far as wedding dresses and even caused
a television network to devote an entire
week to the environment. Fine art is on
this bandwagon as well. Contemporary
artists have resurrected the assemblage
art form that dates back to Pablo Picasso
and Marcel Duchamp, both of whom took
found objects and combined them in unusual
ways in their art. While some contemporary
artists are pursuing this eco-friendly art
route, others recycle materials that would
otherwise be discarded, such as plastic, and
use them to create art. These materials are
called recyclates.
“Assemblage and Recyclates” brings
together these two strains in environmental
art. Seven Colorado artists as well as one
each from Los Angeles and Nashville are
displaying their work around the time of
Democratic National Convention. The green-
themed convention inspired Translations
to show visitors the possibilities of eco-
friendly art. Included in the exhibition are
sixteen pieces of art created with materials
that range from ordinary found objects
All of the artists in the exhibition draw piece of metal that acts as a base for her
such as metal, wood, glass, and plastic to
attention to their use of recycled materials work and then adds other types of metal to
unusual art materials, such as old maps and
using diverse artistic techniques and styles. it. Discontinued (after music box) includes an
Tyvek, a synthetic material created by the
For example, L.A. artist Joseph Shuldiner old metal box as a base that she found in her
DuPont Company.
upcycles plastic grocery bags and tightly one-hundred-year-old workplace building.
weaves them together in his Discarded Leaves. Heavy straight pins are pierced through
Leaf and flower shapes are cut out in the it and are visible through an opening.
plastic bag weaving, which reflects Shuldiner’s Colorado artist Leo Franco combines found
exploration of the interplay between wood and metal to create small geometric
natural materials and human intervention compositions in Line Phase and Prepared
in his work. Boulder, Colorado, artist Sara Piano: Hammer.
Goldenberg White stitches geometric shapes Through their diversity of style and
onto recycled plastic, creating an alternative techniques, the artists have achieved their
quilt that explores color interaction and the goal of using discarded objects to create
altering of perceived space. pieces of art. In the process, they exhibit
The assemblages in the exhibition are a wonderful exploration of the creative
especially interesting due to the unique use of artistic materials and join into the
qualities of the found objects. Nashville artist broader eco-friendly social movement.
Adrienne Outlaw often finds an unusual – Kate Merkel

(top right) Adrienne Outlaw, Discontinued (after music box), 2005, found metal box, straight
pins, paint, 5" x 7.5" x 4.75". (bottom left) Sara Goldenberg White, Perceiving Change, 2008, Featured exhibitions 53
recycled plastic & thread, 39.5" x 38.5".
MINNEAPOLIS

Party Party in a Tweety Land b/w This Republic of Suffering


Form + Content [through Oct 4]
Curated by Camille Gage and Colleen the intense self-absorption that sometimes
Sheehy as part of the “UnConvention” (see stems from internet life, while Philip Harder
page 74), this exhibition “contemplates the parodies advertising in his short film iRaq.
tensions between suffering and denial, grief The image of Britney Spears – recently
and self-absorption, and uncovers real losses having made a cameo in a John McCain ad
buried under the wreckage of a consumer – is dissected in Scott Seekins series of work
and celebrity obsessed culture”. Using the about the decline of the American Empire.
structure of an old 45 rpm, the show has Images of another sort dominate the second
two sides. In the “A side” of the show, three half of the show. Jaron Childs’ This Republic
exhibitions probe the way that media affects of Suffering features paintings of anonymous,
our lives. Christopher Baker’s video explores grieving subjects that he found through
Google Images searches. In REQUIEM,
Harriet Bart remembers the soldiers killed
in Iraq through hanging paper scrolls that
include the names of the more than 4,000
who have perished. Taking a look at an often
forgotten part of society, Kristie Bretzkie
captures the faces of homeless panhandlers
and the diverse emotions they offer.
Rounding out the show are two photo series
by Xavier Tavera that cover both aspects of
the exhibition. His “A” side photographs of
raunchy rave culture contrast with his “B”
side work on Latino families reenacting the
passion of the Christ during Holy Week. In
a world filled with human suffering, people
are increasingly becoming numb to the
plight of others. This exhibition goes a long
way toward exposing the tragedies as well as
examining our society’s coping methods.

“Genus elephas”
Premier [through Sept 19]
In the spirit of the Republican National
Convention, Premier Gallery will hold
an exhibition devoted to original artwork
inspired by or about the elephant, the iconic
symbol of the party that will soon be invading
the Twin Cities. Artists from across the
Midwest submitted pieces for this exhibition,
which will include a juried competition and
award presentation during the convention.

(clockwise from top right) Scott Seekins, I Thought I Heard Your Voice, 2008, oil on canvas,
54 A|C|A Sept/Oct 2008 20" x 20". Nick Legeros, The Thinker, bronze. Erika Fuentes, 624787, Acrylic. Jaron Childs,
2005-09-03T1617...image, 2006, oil on panel, 16.25" x 11.75".
SOUTHWEST

Paul Shapiro
Zane Bennett, Santa Fe
[Sept 12 – Nov 8]

Throughout his career, Shapiro


has explored various styles,
from Modernist landscapes to
abstraction. His process of painting
is quite organic. “I want to leave
the door open to the endless
possibilities of my creative process,
always embracing the realm of
uncertainty,” says Shapiro. “I feel
that art should function as an icon of
the sublime, not a reinforcer of the
mundane, so we may be reminded
of beauty and what we are.” This
exhibition is a survey of his abstract
paintings from 1990 to 2008.

Hector Ruiz & David Kessler


Bentley, Scottsdale [Both exhibitions: Sept 4-30]

Mexican and Kickapoo American artist, Exhibiting professionally for over 35 years,
Hector Ruiz, presents “L’art m’emmerde David Kessler creates hyper-realistic
j‘ai participe a cette expo”, a continuation landscape paintings on aluminum that
of his series on miscegenation. Proposing utilize the qualities of refracted light and
the mixing of races as an opportunity its interaction with pigment. In painting on
to end racism and wars, he also recognize the aluminum instead of canvas, Kessler uses
fear many have toward this possible change wire brushes to abrade into the surface of the
and the effect it will have on our rituals and aluminum, creating a fluid, refracted light.
identities. Ruiz comes from a bicultural The paint is airbrushed on in transparent
identity and grew up in a border state. As a layers, which allows the burnished areas of
result, he was at the forefront of changes in aluminum to act as highlights and merge
American culture; this is represented in his seamlessly with paint to create dazzling
work. This exhibition brings together new images. This technique enhances the illusion
works in various media, including painting, of depth and space in the work, as the
block prints, as well as bronze and hand- brushed aluminum highlights appear to
carved sculpture. move when the light changes.

(top right) Paul Shapiro, Iru, 1990, oil on canvas, 60" x 72". (bottom left) Hector Ruiz,
B Littled, 2008, wood, 33" x 11.5" x 4". Featured exhibitions 55
SOUTHEAST

Mason Murer
Atlanta [Sept 26 – Nov 8]
Group Show: Richard Estes, Gail Wegodsky,
Susan Loeb, Honnie Goode, Liana Repass,
James Way, Pam Moxley, and others.

Todd Schroeder and Patrick Kelly


2CarGarage, Savannah [Sept 19 – Oct 14]

This current work from Todd Schroeder backwards or upside down to appear as
explores such existential ideas as the “eternal objects like any other. Patrick Kelly’s work
collapse of matter”. Instead of a world of is an “intuitive rendering of a variety of
expanding possibilities, he sees a reality that planes and shapes” that often feature a
is caving in on itself. He uses mathematical progression of colors. According to the
concepts, such as the Fibonacci sequence artist, his work typically “begins with a
and golden mean, to present these ideas. single gesture”, which he builds upon with
In this show, he has also incorporated instinctive brushstrokes that eventually
graphic elements into his works. Yet, when connect each element of a painting.
words are present, they are often rendered

Naomi Silva
Atlanta [Sept 12 – Oct 4]
New works of abstract artist John LaHuis
and new sculpture by Daniel Florida.

(clockwise from top right) Todd Schroeder, Kick Ass. Patrick Kelly, Fracture. John LaHuis, If You
56 A|C|A Sept/Oct 2008 Love Me, from "Take Me" series, mixed media on panel with resin and steel frame. Liana Repass,
Untitled, pastel on paper.
SOUTHEAST

James Rosati
Jerald Melberg, Charlotte [Sept 13 – Nov 1]

The artistic journey of James Rosati


(1911-1988) was grounded in his time as
violinist in the Pittsburgh String Symphony
and as a sculptor for the Works Progress
Administration. Moving to New York in the
1940s, he spent forty years on sculptures,
producing a body of work of great
significance. His abstract work drew on his
experiences with the rhythms and fluidity
of music. Connecting with and enhancing
their surroundings, his large works always
fit well in grand plazas. One of his famous
sculptures, Ideogram (1972), was displayed
between the World Trade Center towers in
New York until the events of 9/11 destroyed
it. The nearly twenty-four foot work
welcomed visitors to the modern complex
and was often photographed by tourists.
Twenty years after his death, his work
can be found in the National Gallery of
Art, the Whitney Museum, the Museum of
Modern Art, and the Hirschhorn Museum
& Sculpture Garden, among a myriad of
others. This exhibition, “Simple Line,
Complex Form” presents a survey of his
sculpture as well as many of his works on
paper. It is the most significant collection
on display in several years.

James Rosati: (top left) Mansion 1, 1962, caen stone, 18.75" x 15.88" x 12.13". (above left)
Untitled, 1968, stainless steel, 53.5" x 78" x 24". (above right) Untitled, 1970-8, painted Featured exhibitions 57
aluminum, 23.5" x 59.75" x 29.5".
David Nittmann
T h e F I N E A R T o f W O O D T U R N I N G

“Acoma
Noosphere”
25” diameter
African Mahagony
Represented by

Santa Fe • 505-982-2403
davidnittmann.com
NYLA WITMORE

PATHWAYS
Exhibition & Sale
November 7th - 26th
Tuscan Vineyard Glow (24x48) by Nyla Witmore

Patrons Art & Framing


127 West 10th Ave., Denver, CO 80204
(303) 321-5585 www.patronsart.net
Hours: Wed. – Sat. 10:00 – 5:30

First Friday Gallery Walks Original Paintings by Local & Regional Artists
Quiet Passage 48X48
“12” 60X70 www.karenzhaynes.com

www.judycampbellart.com

Z
studio
Denver, Colorado

In the Gallery...

AUGUST 23 – NOVEMBER 2, 2008


Opening Reception:
Saturday, September 13th, 6–9 pm

503 N. Lincoln Ave. • Loveland, CO


80537 (970) 962-2410
Tues, Wed, Fri 10-5 • Thurs 10-9
Sat 10-4 • Sun 12-4
Rome
Admission is free
1957
www.cityofloveland.org oil, 36” x 38”
575.758.9120
Taos, New Mexico 87571
208-A Ranchitos Road
Tsegi Overlook, Canyon de Chelly • Oil on Linen • 34" x 44" framed

ALYCE FRANK

NEW LOOK: www.fenixgallery.com

ERIC BOYER
Among contemporary sculptors working with wire
mesh, Eric Boyer stands out for the beauty of his
male and female figures and for the sophistication
with which he explores a medium that consists
as much in open, empty space as in the solid
strands that contain it.
contemporary

Hunter Kirkland Contemporary


A SCENSION
45” x 24” x 6”
200-B Canyon Road, Santa Fe, NM 87501
STEEL WIRE MESH phone 505.984.2111 fax 505.984.8111

Photo: Addison Doty www.hunterkirklandcontemporary.com


Contemporary Art in Denver:
A Twenty Year Journey
The Mile High Scene is
Peaking at the Perfect Time
by Michael Paglia

T he eyes of the nation have been


turned toward Denver lately. Not
number over a hundred. But what has
been unpredictable is that most of
only will the 2008 Democratic National the today’s top contemporary galler-
Convention be held here, but Colorado, in ies are essentially the same ones that
which Denver is the capitol, has emerged as were atop when the city last hit a nadir
one of a handful of key battleground states two decades ago. This roste r of long-
in this year’s presidential contest. Now it standing venues includes Robischon
may be tempting to see these facts as being Gallery, Rule Modern and Contem-
indicative of an increasingly heightened porary Gallery, William Havu Gallery,
profile for the Mile High City (excuse the and Carson/van Straaten Gallery, all
pun). Yet, there’s a pesky bit of trivia that of which were present in some form
would seem to undercut this tidy story: the back then.
Democrats convened here once before, way These exhibition venues focus
back in 1908, and at that time, too, Denver on national and international artists,
was a rising star among American cities. but every one of them has also built
But during the intervening
century, it’s been a roller-
coaster ride of booms and busts.
For anyone who was alive the
last time – I’m sure there are a
couple – this may be old news.
For everyone else, though,
there is something very new and
exciting about Denver hitting the
big time right at this moment.
The last bust was in the 1980s,
and that’s where this story of the
city’s vibrant art scene begins.
At that time, the metro-
politan area was less than half
its current size. Today, greater
Denver now has close to 3 mil-
lion residents, and in terms of
art, this population boom has
prompted a predictable prolif-
eration of galleries, which now

(top right) Clark Richert, A/C Kepler, acrylic on canvas. Rule Modern and Contemporary Gallery.
70 A|C|A Sept/Oct 2008 (bottom right) Sue Simon, Cacophony, acrylic on canvas. Spark Gallery.
reassemble the stable from his closed Ron
Judish Fine Arts, and he’s already snagged
Emmett Culligan and Bill Stockman.
In addition to the critical mass of
galleries that have coalesced since eighties
is the simultaneous founding of a set of
alternative spaces. These places – Spark,
Pirate, Edge and Core, among others – are
run by the artists who show their works in
them. Although they play only a supporting
role to the larger community, some names
are worth extra attention. Phil Bender,
Mark Brasuell and Sue Simon not only
mount shows in their respective co-ops but
in museums, too.
This thriving art scene may seem
irrelevant to Denver’s new found fame based
on politics. Yet, coincidentally, even before
the city was selected to host the convention,
events in Denver had begun to make news
its reputation, in part, on the foundation A few new venues have joined the internationally – and it all started in the
of Colorado’s own homegrown talents. top ranks, or at least aspire to do so. These city’s art world.
Robischon may be the city’s chief purveyor are Plus Gallery, Walker Fine Art, and A museum building boom has been
of contemporary Chinese art, but it also Space Gallery. These three also present a raging in recent years and started with the
promotes the careers of locals like Jack heterogeneous group of artists, alternating construction of an outrageous new building
Balas, Terry Maker, and Scott Chamberlin. shows between out-of-towners and regional for the Denver Art Museum. Conceived by
Rule has a large contingent of modern figures. Among the locals seen
masters, but in addition to ones from New at these spots are Bruce Price
York like Carl Andre, it promotes those at and Andy Miller at Plus, Roland
home as well, including Dale Chisman and Bernier and Robert Delaney at
Clark Richert. At Havu, regional favorites Walker, and Michael Burnett
– Tracy and Sushe Felix, Amy Metier and and Ryan Anderson at Space.
Emilio Lobato – are among the regulars. One venture on the immediate
Carson/van Straaten, the oldest of the group, horizon that will surely also
features Jeff Wenzel and Homare Ikeda, emerge as a top exhibition
both among the numerous established and attraction is Gallery T, which is
respected Colorado artists whose work may going to be run by Ron Judish,
be seen there. Many of these artists – just a respected name in Denver’s
like the galleries that show them – trace their art establishment for the last
career origins back to the 1980s. quarter century. He’s hoping to

(top left) Jeff Wenzel, Burning Ground, mixed media on canvas, 49" x 60".
Carson/van Straaten Gallery. (bottom right) Tracy Felix, Maroon Bells, oil on canvas. Contemporary art in Denver 71
William Havu Gallery.
addition is just across the Art/Denver cut the ribbon on their new
street from the museum’s building. Like their colleagues at the DAM,
main building, the equally the powers-that-be at the MCA/Denver
flamboyant, iridescent glass- tapped an international architecture. In this
tiled North Building, which case, London-based designer, David Adjaye
was designed by Gio Ponti in fit the bill. But this is just the beginning. A
the 1970s. huge new Colorado History Museum and a
With the opening of Clyfford Still Museum are both set to rise
the Hamilton in 2006, there in the next couple of years on sites at either
was a sea change in the art side of the Hamilton.
scene that was profoundly The history of art in Denver can
felt not only at the DAM, be traced back to the last decades of the
but in the rest of the city’s nineteenth century—the DAM came on-
many exhibition-venues. line in 1893. Now, in the first years of the
The Denver Art Museum new millenium, there has been a major,
starchitect Daniel Libeskind, the Frederic helped broadcast to a wide audience qualitative change as the city increasingly
C. Hamilton Building has been ridiculed that the city had come of age, helping becomes the unrivaled center of art in the
as looking like the site of an airplane crash. to put the town in the spotlight. Surely, Mountain Time Zone. And it could not have
Although ironic considering Libeskind the attention helped position Denver happened at a better time. While media will
designed the original Freedom Tower on the on the list of cities being considered for converge on Denver to cover politics, they
World Trade Center site, the description is the DNC. will likely stumble upon its incredible art
not far off. The outlandish titanium-clad At the same time that Denver was scene as well. ACA
forms got Libeskind’s Hamilton into art and raising its profile, the Hamilton’s opening
architecture magazines everywhere and thus also sparked the continued expansion of
put Denver on the art world map in a way that the city’s visual arts infrastructure. In the Michael Paglia is the chief art writer for the
it had never been before. The freestanding fall of 2007, the Museum of Contemporary Denver Westword.

DEnver ARTIST HONORED


The last remaining works of Mark Travis, a Denver understanding that the trajectory of his own work and
painter whose life ended last December, will be shown career conflicted with the systemic commodification
at Space Gallery through October 11. In fall 2007, Travis innate to the art market. Travis lived the subsistent life
originally planned to exhibit new work to coincide with of an artist, supporting himself on odd jobs and the sale
the Democratic National Convention. His intention of his art work. It is apt to say Travis was the epitome of
was to produce, over the course of the year, a politically the starving artist, the likes of which we see in the movies.
motivated body of works. The fruition of this challenge, Although his health had been wavering for years, it was
although inevitably unrealized, may lead viewers of this a great shock to his friends and the local art community
collection to a deeper understanding of the more complex when a neighbor found Travis’ body in his studio this
nuances in Travis’ mark making, color composition, and past December. Nearly nine months later, it is difficult
figural abstraction. to grasp the profundity of this loss both personally for
Those who knew Mark Travis in his life describe his friends and colleagues and for the the art world. The
him as a “consummate painter”, an “artist’s artist”, or striking significance of his abbreviated career hinted at
more succinctly, “the real deal”. Travis’ relationship with the great pieces Travis had yet to create. This is a great
Denver galleries was at times strained due to his clear opportunity to see what was lost.

72 A|C|A Sept/Oct 2008 (top left) Robert Delaney, Deer, painted steel. Walker Fine Art.
Minneapolis
confronts
convention
by Tori Frankel

T This year's election cycle allows


commentators and citizens alike an
art scene, however, is more than up to
the challenge of putting things in context.
Public Works of Art Project and the WPA-
established Federal Art Project. In addition
opportunity to evoke parallels between Two museum exhibitions resurrect images to artists under sponsorship, many others
today's America and versions of the country of past American triumphs, while more worked independently to capture the reality
past. For some, the candidacy of Barack contemporary events take on the current of the times. The official repository of works
Obama reflects the wonder of the youngest reality by seeking new ideals to push the from this era is the Weisman Art Museum
elected U.S. president, John F. Kennedy, and country in the direction of renewal. at the University of Minnesota. It holds
the optimism of the early 1960s. Others of a This year marks the 75th anniversary over 1,000 works by over 200 artists and
similar ideological bent find the ascendancy of one of the high points of the Democratic presented a selected of these for display this
of the Democratic Party, mixed with Party: the beginning of the New Deal and summer. Although much of the 1930s art
economic turmoil, to be a mirror of could be labeled as social realist,
the election of Franklin D. Roosevelt artists actually created in diverse
and the coming of the New Deal. Both styles. Emphasis was placed on
reflect a longing for an identity larger industrial accomplishments and
than just oneself, a link to the civic the workers that produced them.
community. These liberal fantasies, But many images also focused
however, are sternly confronted with on the downtrodden, attempting
a political environment that seems to highlight their strife while
less receptive to their realization. In implying eventual rectification of
no place will this be more clear than their predicament. Government
at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, involvement, combined with
Minnesota, in early September. The the subject matter portrayed in
Republicans will soon descend on the this art, resulted in a sense of
city for their convention. The country, heightened national identity among
meanwhile, struggles to navigate the Americans, an ideal that would see
wreckage of the past seven years. its fulfillment in the propaganda
As the Republican party supporting the war effort in the
confronts the challenge of holding a 1940s.
convention in St. Paul, the other Twin The spirit of that age remains
city confronts the political landscape relevant to the present. Although
that Republican government and it quickly faded, the attacks of 9/11
vision has wrought. Beginning in the provided an ephemeral moment
summer and continuing through the of collective identity among
Republican National Convention, Americans and much of the world.
Minneapolis galleries and museums More recently, the country is faced
have staged exhibitions that, in ways with an economic crisis that many
both indirect and overt, challenge expect to be the worse since the
the status quo. A city that has recently been presidency of FDR. That era, in a time of Great Depression. The result could well be
listed as the “most livable” in the United severe economic turmoil, revolutionized the an expansion of collective control over the
States (by European magazine Monocle no concept of America by drastically expanding economy through government bailouts. In
less), situated in a state that has not voted the role of the federal government and, as a spite of these provocations toward a renewed
for a Republican presidential candidate result, the nation's collective responsibility. sense of communal responsibility, the events
since 1972, may seem to clash with the One of the consequences of this agenda of the Republican National Convention
party encroaching on its turf. Minneapolis' was government funding of art through the will assuredly envision an America that is

74 A|C|A Sept/Oct 2008 Eero Saarinen, Dulles International Airport Terminal, circa 1963. Photo: Balthazar Korab
© Balthazar Korab Ltd.
different from the one projected by the New the sublime. His famous Gateway Arch in
Deal. The era, of course, is anathema to a St. Louis presents the enduring vision of
party that speaks most often of faith in the American expansion and, therefore, the
marketplace. And far from the patrician country's dominance. But it was his two
Roosevelt, recently successful Republican famous airport structures, the main terminal
politicians have upheld the folksy everyman, at Dulles International Airport and the
an ideal associated more with rugged TWA terminal at JFK Airport, that express
individualism than any collective concern. the possibility of a transcendent world in
Another touchstone for Democrats is which progress succeeds indefinitely. Like
the overreaching aspirations of the Kennedy the works from the New Deal, they uphold
administration. Nearly fifty years ago, the a sense of community identity linked with
JFK presidency pushed the United States the universal culture of air travel. They seven years, of mismanaged wars and
toward the future through a mission to underline the changing nature of the world. incompetent disaster response. The promise
the moon and an emphasis on national If New Deal works presented the ideal of the post-9/11 American community never
responsibility. The attitude of this era, of of surviving through community and the reached fruition. Instead, the country moved
possibilities tinged with an underlying fear work of Saarinen pushed for blind hope further on the path of partisanship, selfish
of world annihilation, could also be found in in progress, the current state of America individualism, and excessive consumption of
the futuristic, space-age architecture of Eero challenges both notions. The country resources.
Saarinen, which will be showcased after the today arguably lacks any sense of collective
convention by the Walker Art Center and purpose. And while faith in progress never Although Saarinen's Dulles terminal
the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Although dies, we have reached a point in which a outside of Washington, DC, was christened
the architect died shortly after Kennedy slight plurality of Americans feel things by Kennedy a year before the president's
entered office, his legacy endured as projects are getting worse. The Republicans are not death, the forward-looking ideals of
he designed continued through the mid- solely to blame for these developments, progress implicit in that structure were
1960s. In many ways, his work reflected but their status as the party in the White quickly overshadowed by assassinations,
the sense of progress as well as the fear of House makes them a symbol of the past a treacherous war in Southeast Asia, and

(top right) Eero Saarinen, TWA Terminal, circa 1962. Photo © Balthazar Korab Ltd.
(above left) Berenice Abbott, Murray Hill Hotel: Spiral, 112 Park Avenue, Manhattan, minneapolis Vs. convention 75
1935, gelatin silver print. (above right) Dorothea Lau, Workers - Five O'Clock,
ca.1935-40, oil on canvas.
for artists to start a visual Encompassing many different events (see
conversation composed page 54 ), its overall effect is one of height-
in contemporary art. ened civic involvement. “My Yard Our Mes-
Featuring work in a sage”, a online lawn-sign creation contest,
variety of media, the features numerous calls to vote, as well as
most popular part of images that reflect upon America's stand-
the exhibition was an ing in the world. One states when “when
exploded concrete government lets us down, we must rise up”.
sculpture by Brenda Such a call for collective action against an
Ingersoll. Reminiscent ineffectual government reflects Thomas Jef-
of a World Trade Center ferson's notion of democracy. The most en-
tower, the sculpture during rebuttal to the convention, however,
evokes the sense of may end up being “The State of Things”, a
national unity that could giant ice sculpture of the word “Democracy”
have driven the country that will slowly melt during one day of the
in a positive direction. convention.
Just as “Revisions” The final two months before the
sought artist participa- presidential election give the country an
tion, “The UnConven- opportunity for self-assessment. In Minne-
tion” seeks to involve apolis, the modernist glory of Saarinen and
the public. A non-par- the transcendent collective of New Deal art
tisan counterpoint to offer a look back at what America has been
the Republican National in the past. They also give insight into what
Convention, “The Un- is lacking today. A collective responsibility
Convention” will bring for this country, realized by something as
citizens together to pro- simple as voting and as complex as providing
mote an unscripted dia- for all citizens, was the important then and
logue on important issues. remains so now. ACA
internal strife at home. The America of
1970s was a place in which modernism slowly
died and gave way to the post-modernism
that has characterized much of the last
thirty years. Forms became illusive. If the
American identity was more secure in those
past eras, today it has become something
under constant consideration. As America
undergoes changes in its composition and its
status slips in the world, its identity is in need
of redefinition.
Over the summer in Minneapolis, an
exhibition attempted to do just that. Susan
Hensel Gallery presented “Revisions of the
American Dream”, a showcase of thirteen
nationally selected artists whose work
examines the composition of the American
ideal in today's age. Zach Pearl, the curator of
the show, sought an “aesthetic call-to-arms”

76 A|C|A Sept/Oct 2008 (top left) Brenda Ingersoll, 35.53, concrete with inset pennies. (bottom right) Nora Ligorano &
Marshall Reese, The State of Things, sculpture in ice, 5' x 30'.
Art in the
Age of Bush by Eric Kalisher

T hese days, it is fashionable to declare


the imminent fall of the American
will ever be viewed with as much
infamy as the one in which we
empire. Although many shrink from using currently live. Never before in
such overt language, they still recognize the the postwar era has the American
challenges of energy dependence, economic ideal been so open to dispute.
overextension, an emerging China and re- The changes that this
emerging Russia, and the resultant decline country has witnessed over
in American influence. The impetus for these last eight years are not
this turnaround in the national narrative confined to any single realm of
lies in the recent past. While the 1990s the country, nor do they stem
were a decade of American dominance, the entirely from namesake of the
attacks of 9/11 – “the barbarian invasions” as era and his administration. More
filmmaker Denys Arcand called them – begun than anything, they signify the
an era of challenge to this unipolar position. continuance of lost opportunities
As we approach the seventh anniversary and the assertion of a reckless
of that shocking day, we can more readily leadership. Government agencies
measure what has been lost than what has have been devalued and politicized, just as way to begin to tackle these issues, and
been gained. Presidents are often identified the truth about war and the economy have such a theme underpins an exhibition at the
in retrospect with certain eras of American been. Challenges at home and abroad Wolfsonian. The museum, part of Florida
history and the trends that became apparent have been met with diversions instead of International University in Miami Beach,
during them. It remains doubtful that any confrontation. An America that was never invited over 60 artists to re-envision Norman
asked to sacrifice – financially, physically, Rockwell's “Four Freedoms” paintings for
emotionally – after 9/11 has instead the present era. Rockwell's iconic images
overindulged. Today, the country faces from 1943, based of President Franklin D.
a financial crisis that stems in large part Roosevelt's third inaugural address, visually
from the consumer-obsession of a nation presented freedom of speech, freedom of
that has long given up on any civic-minded, worship, freedom from want, and freedom
collective identity The butcher's bill has from fear. In “Thoughts on Democracy”, the
come due, and while pundits and best-seller exhibition resulting from the Wolfsonian's
tell-alls provide insight into this period, the challenge, the artists collectively demonstrate
best way to wade through the insanity is the ways in which the American ideal has
through unconventional means. evolved over the past half century.
Rockwell's depiction of freedom from
fear has particularly relevance today. The
In assessing the Age of Bush, artists must poster featured a mother and father tucking
ask how new realities should be presented their children into bed. Two artists take on
and what imagery can best evoke them. this image directly by showing the result of
Rectifying the present with past is a good fear in our own era. James Victor paints

(top right) Helene Silverman, Poster - Freedom From War, 2008, archival ink-jet print,
20" x 16". (above left) Guillermo Kuitca, Poster, 2008, archival ink-jet print, 20" x 16". art in the age of bush 77
Both courtesy of The Wolfsonian at FIU.
is “Subject to change without notice. The
right of freedom is made available 'as is' and
without warranty of any kind.” In a nation of
mass consumption of throwaway products,
perhaps freedom is just another among
them, able to be discarded on a whim. In
an economic reality in which citizens endure
creditors who can change rates and charges
T without notice, perhaps government can
similarly alter its compact with the people.
Mills' disclaimer also sets clear limits on
liability: “The right of Freedom may be
exercised on the strict understanding that
neither the Government nor its ministers,
employees or agents shall be liable for losses
of any kind.” Accountability, therefore, no
longer exists.
over the scene and creates one in which enduring impression. As the war confronts What will push Americans out of
the mother and father mourn over a flag- us face-to-face, we must confront whether complacency and toward confrontation with
draped coffin, likely housing a soldier killed our own intolerance and marginalization of the problems of the day. Adam Lewin's
in Iraq. In his alteration, Victor emphasizes those abroad have contributed to it. poster updates the freedoms, in exaggerated
an event that gets little attention – the media The “global war of terror” is not the only form, to today's realities. Freedom of speech
is banned from military funerals resulting brand created by the Bush administration. may exist, but it has become increasingly
from Iraq War deaths. Guillermo Kuitca In recent years, freedom itself has been restricted. A gagged man is taken away
similarly highlights the marginalization of commodified as a product to be exported by police in image that demonstrates the
civic concerns. He recasts Rockwell's image to the rest of the world. In his poster, quashing of protest. With an image of Nike
in the corner of an empty stage, free of any George Mill presents “freedom” in a pretty shoes, freedom to worship is applied to
audience. The problem is not merely that advertisement, indistinguishable from those faith in the market of goods. Freedom from
the American ideal is in trouble, it is the created on Madison Avenue. While we may want, meanwhile, has been transformed into
apathy of the citizenry to such concerns. see freedom as an irrevocable right, in this ad freedom of excess, with a fattened individual
The Iraq War figures prominently in “certain restrictions apply”. The disclaimer sucking down McDonald's fast food. Finally,
many other posters that address fear. The underneath the ad image indicates that it in the post-9/11 world, freedom from fear
terror stoked by talk of “mushroom clouds” becomes state protection, in which the
was, in fact, used by the government to prevalence of security measures, including
launch the invasion of Iraq. In Helene the security cameras pictured in Lewis's
Silverman's creation, the faces of the war poster, become the only means to that end.
stare back at the viewer, in a mosaic that Freedom of fear has moved away from
includes the war dead with red, white, the psychological state to the aggressively
and blue superimposed over it, serving invasive measures that “protect” us from
as a universal face. Its imagery evokes a physical harm but not from fear itself.
politicized variation on a Rauschenberg These posters make it clear that
or Johns creation and challenges us to America is failing to live up to its ideal. Elliot
confront both what the flag represents and Earls channels Liberty Leading the People,
what it has wrought. Fear is also the theme but recasts it as “Liberty Weeps”, with a baby
of Chaz Maviyane-Davies' contribution, a Liberty distraught and seemingly calling for
deconstruction of the color-coded terrorist someone to take responsibility for her and,
alert symbol. Different languages are accordingly, the country's direction. The
attached to each color. The safe level image provides a culmination of what has
corresponds to “we the people” in English, been lost in the Age of Bush. America has
while its Arabic equivalent is demarcated as faced challenges in the past – from the internal
a red alert. Fear of cultural pluralism is the division of the 1960s to economic turmoil in

(top left) Dan Van Clapp, Fountain of Carnage, assemblage fountain. Part of "Patriot Act"
78 A|C|A Sept/Oct 2008 (above) Elliot Earls, Poster - Liberty Weeps, 2008, archival ink-jet print, 20" x 16". Courtesy
of The Wolfsonian.
the 1970s and the culture wars of 1990s – but
rarely has the America slipped so far in the
mind of the world and many at home as well.
If America is a shining beacon, its light has
now dimmed. If it is once was morning in
American, it now seems like dusk.
A simple, to-the-point image by Wim
Couvel, however, provides a call to action.
Superimposed over a listing of the four
freedoms is “Remember!” These freedoms
will no longer be illusive if we forgo apathy
and actively seek to restore the highest
promise of them. By forgetting or neglecting,
by denying the reality that confronts us – the
baby liberty with tears in our eye – we make
it impossible to leap toward the idealism that
makes American the standard-bearer for the
free world. We must take notice.

subjects like the influence of money on U.S. images from the dollar to understand how
We can start by having a discussion about how policy and the hidden toll of the Iraq War. the currency gains its power and identity. At
to define America. A forthcoming exhibition For too much of the world today, the the heart of both are the military-industrial
in Orange County, California, does just that. image of America is similar to one created complex, which offers world superiority and
Entitled “Just How Does a Patriot Act?” and by Noah Breuer: two arms covered in consumer comfort.
curated by Joella March, it includes works dripping blood.. Up at the elbow, the blood The U.S. has been free of terrorist
by nearly 30 artists, accompanied by perfor- begins to conform to two separate patterns attacks over the last seven years. Some
mance art and poetry. Freedom of speech and enhanced by blue: the British and American Americans, therefore, believe wars abroad
the dialogue of ideas are two major underlying flags. Although an extreme image, the idea bring peace home. This is a long-running
threads of this show. In the Age of Bush, that blood is on the hands on America and theme in American history: military might
though, what is dialogue but the airing of the its transatlantic ally is an underlying reality makes the world safe for American. From
oppositional viewpoint. The problem is not of international dominance and invasions World War II to Vietnam to Iraq, foreign
so much that the two sides aren't talking – that yield tens of thousands of civilian
although that is a problem – but that one side deaths. This message is seconded in Dan
is being completely marginalized. That has Van Clapp's “Fountain of Carnage”, an
been the Bush administration great political assemblage fountain in which bloods pours
success and the country's great loss. While our of a the muzzle of a gun. America's
the citizenry is largely aware of the dictates unwillingness to acknowledge this bloody
from the White House, the official policy reality, no matter the justness of the cause,
and government “propaganda”, those views is emphasized in the image.
rejected by administration often fail to filter The influence of the Iraq War on the
through to the population. A vocal minority current American reality may not be so
warned of distortions in the intelligence that apparent to citizens who do not venture
supported the casus belli, and Ed Gramlich, abroad and instead shield themselves in
a member of the Board of Governors of local concerns. For some, financial matters
the Federal Reserve, was ignored when he remain paramount. Ryan Broughman and
warned about lax regulation of mortgages. Robin Clark examine American identity
The truth is out there, it just often fails to through the deconstruction of its primary
make it to the public in any widespread form. currency: the greenback dollar. Broughman
The exhibition's cri de ceour quotes Thomas reshapes the dollar into a narrative of
Jefferson: “to dissent is patriotic.” The artists America in which war drives the American
included live up to this mission by probing economy. Clark, on the other hand, culls

(top right) John Carr, War Is Peace, screenprint. (above right) Noah Breuer, Blood On Our
Hands, silkscreen print. Both part of "Patriot Act"
art in the age of bush 79
conflicts are viewed as protection of the to diminish the act of simulated drawing
way of life that exists in the home front. (that is, torture) into something less terrible,
John Carr make the link explicit in “War is into something bureaucratic and routine.
Peace”, a screenprint that shows two peaceful Correspondingly, Powers takes this further
Americans watching a nuclear light show. by placing “waterboarding” within the
But conflict is not just something that protects confines of a thrill ride, a fun event in which
American from attack. It is also something patrons receive a sadomasochistic pleasure.
that enriches the population and helps build With this satirical rendering, euphemism has
a complacent existence. The happy red, reached its extreme. Simulated drowning
white, and blue-tinged couple titillated by the has gone from torture to fun ride in a mere
Bomb are the beneficiaries of the military- eight years. An event of national tragedy has
industrial economic boost. With weapons went from solemn occasion to an impetus
manufacturing, the U.S. expands both its to a false war to a grotesque precursor of
military and economic prowess. It was this American decline.
way in Cold War era and remains so today. These three exhibitions highlight what
The cost of complacency at home has been lost. In contrast to the political
and aggressive military actions abroad is a conventions that take will place in late August
lost of acceptance by the world and, more and early September and the campaigns
importantly, the loss of lives. Abstractly that surround them, these art events look
represented by Matthew Bryant are the backward at the remnants. In both the
“34,452 Civilians Killed in Iraq During Democratic and Republican conventions,
2006”. Sparing the viewer the pain of direct we will probably see posturing about the
representation, the image nevertheless future instead of confrontation with the
presents the immensity of the lost. Clayton past. No politician has won favor by looking
cartoon character. Noticing this phrase and
Campbell takes on a different kind of backward, except in teary eyed nostalgia or
its key reference to the Guantanamo Bay
death, the destruction of ideals. “After while evoking blood-lust vengeance. But,
military detention camp, most will hopefully
Abu Ghraib” manipulates the infamous in raising the toll of these past years, this
understand the dark side of this spectacle.
images and makes them more palatable art influences the cultural discourse and
If not, perhaps the image of an animatronic
by diminishing the visceral horror that the incites active minds to ponder this country.
figure in black “waterboarding” another
originals evoked. By taking the edge out and Assessment of what has gone wrong is an
in orange, while it convulses, will send the
sparing the victims, Campbell seeks to draw essential precursor to moving forward. ACA
message home.
viewers into the abstract debate about the For a longer version of this article and
By inserting torture into the everyday,
principles destroyed by the images existence more information about the exhibitions visit
Steve Powers, the artist who created the
– and the events that led to them. acamagazine.com
installation, comments on the complex
nature of America in the age of terrorism.
It is not simply that such acts have been
While these shows in Florida and Southern
used by the United States government, but
California challenge the idea of American in
it's also the widespread acceptance of them.
2008, a New York City exhibition provides
The television show 24 foregrounds torture
the most horrible, Grand Guignol grotesque
in nearly every other episode. Government
of the current era. Amid the summertime
officials actually sited the show as inspiration
playfulness (real or nostalgically conjured)
for their actions, if not justification. This
of Coney Island is the “Waterboarding
perverse and backward relationship between
Thrill Ride”. For some children and naïve
pop culture and policy is reflected in the
individuals, the title may suggest boogie-
“Ride”. Some experts feel that torture
boarding down a watery slope and getting
works best when those who use it know they
splashed. Appearances can be deceiving,
are breaking the law. The theory maintains
though, as even the image of Spongebob
that, under threat of legal repercussion,
Squarepants, adorned on the exterior of the
these tactics would only be used in the most
rise, defies its playful roots with a “It Don't
extreme cases (picture a ticking time bomb).
Gitmo Better!” caption displayed above the
Yet, the very word “waterboarding” seeks

80 A|C|A Sept/Oct 2008 (top) Clayton Campbell, "After Abu Ghraib", digital print series. Part of "Patriot Act" (above right)
Jacques Auger, Poster - Vote, 2008, archival ink-jet print, 20" x 16". Courtesy of The Wolfsonian.
Coney Island’s Newest Attraction:
Waterboarding
On an overcast Sunday at Coney Island,
artist Steve Powers could be found making
repairs to the amusement park’s newest,
most notorious addition, “Waterboarding
Thrill Ride,” an art exhibition where plastic
mannequins are used to simulate the
controversial practice of waterboarding.
Waterboarding is a procedure whereby
a person is made to feel like he or she is
drowning. The official US government
position on it is that it is not a form of
torture, though many people say that it is.
Powers’ exhibit allows visitors a chance to
observe a simulated waterboarding session
by placing a dollar bill into a slot on the
wall and watching as a hooded figure pours
a pail of water onto the towel-covered face
of a man in an orange jumpsuit, while music
plays menacingly in the background.
In contrast, Powers, cheerfully decked that “Waterboarding Thrill Ride” will be and aviator shades observed, “I saw an
out in plaid shorts and a t-shirt and sporting a relocated to Manhattan in September and article about this in the New York Times.
Cosmo Kramer ‘do, told us that the purpose then eventually to Washington DC. People are laughing. Do they understand?”
of the exhibit was “just to get a reaction out Visitors walking by stopped to look Siblings James, Sarah and Patrick Hanlon
of people.” An avid painter of “personal at the exterior of the exhibit, many taking were visiting from Chicago. When asked
relationship stuff,” Powers had never built photos of the painting of Nickelodeon char- what they thought of the experience, all three
an art installation before. He said the spot acters Spongebob Squarepants and Squid- of them laughed and said “It was funny.”
was offered to him and that “it was the right ward. In the painting, Spongebob is lying on James, 12, said it was funny because “it was
thing in the right place at the right time.” his back while Squidward pours water onto awkward.” While admitting to only “kind
Powers stated that he has no future plans him and exclaims, “It don’t Gitmo better!” of” knowing what the exhibit was about, his
to create other political installations, but in a not-so-subtle allusion to tactics alleg- sister Sarah, 16, laughed because “it’s fake.” 
edly used at Guan- Older brother Patrick, 20, explained “the
tanamo bay. Some government says it’s not torture, but clearly
peered through the it is. And the Spongebob is even better,”
single barred window he grinned.
to watch the exhibit Jim Knipfel is a Brooklyn resident
below. The growing and a seasoned Coney Island visitor,
line of people to see though this was his first time visiting the
the show peaked the exhibit. He said, “If you look at the history
curiosity of others, of Coney Island, it always reflected culture
who waited for their and ugly things in culture. People say this
turn. Many people is shocking and disgusting and offensive,
walked away laugh- but this is being done to robots. I think it’s
ing. A gentleman fantastic; maybe we’ll open a few eyes.”
wearing khaki shorts – Jillianne Pierce

Steve Powers, installation view "Waterboarding Thrill Ride". Photos: Jillianne Pierce. art in the age of bush 81
A Portrait in
Inspired Abstraction
by Tracey M. Hawkins

L Living the nation’s capital can be a bit


challenging for any artist. For Mag-
During Michael’s early career years in
the Midwest, she was drawn to and influenced
but that line must also include two vital
American female artists. Post-Painterly
gie Michael, who has been based in the city by the powerful abstract gesturalism and Abstractionist Helen Frankenthaler’s
for the last eight years,
the stressful and difficult
challenges of this period
have played into her
work. Although born
and raised in Wisconsin,
she lived and worked in
San Francisco during the
late 90s while she pursued
an MA from San Fran-
cisco State. Her time liv-
ing in Washington, D.C.,
where she moved to
complete an MFA from
American University,
has influenced her cre-
ative career, but she has
also been impacted and
shaped by her two previ-
ous, decidedly different
environments.

strong colors in the paintings of Chicago- wonderful fluidity and sensual compositions
born American Abstract Expressionist were another early influence on Michael.
Joan Mitchell. Michael’s viewers can trace The less obvious influence on Michael’s early
a historical line of influence from her work stylistic development, however, was Louise
back through Mitchell to the Abstract Bourgeois, whose unique sculptures and
Expressionist paintings of Jackson Pollock, undeniably female perspective presented a
Willem de Kooning, and Franz Kline, new avenue to the young Michael, who even

Maggie Michael: (top right) in her studio (bottom left) Untitled, 2007, latex, enamel, spray paint,
82 A|C|A Sept/Oct 2008 charcoal, ink, nails on canvas, 64" x 42".
and red-white-blue.  While Garden, where she has focused on historical
she does not restrict all of her and contemporary film. In her research,
paintings to these restrained she has been particularly drawn to major
color palettes, she does find themes of creation and destruction as well
the challenges of working as passion, desire, and loss. These common
within set limitations quite themes of contrast and conflict are now a
exciting. This brings to mind very strong presence in her current work.
the work of another strong, Maggie Michael’s work is currently on
female American modernist, view in exhibits at Rule Gallery in Denver,
poet Marianne Moore.  This CO; G Fine Art in Washington, D.C; The
reference feels appropriate, as Lab in Lakewood, CO; and the Museum of
Michael wants her work to be Art at Brigham Young University in Provo,
analogous to poetry, to embody UT. Next year, she will be exhibiting a new
an ephemeral way of thinking body of work at Pocket Utopia in Brooklyn,
about and approaching things. NY in May, where she may, in addition to
while in high school grew tired of the more In addition to the political impact her paintings, surprise her viewers with work
publicly celebrated male version of Abstract Washington has asserted on Michael’s body in sculpture and/or film. ACA
Expressionism. Michael professes that she of work, she has been afforded
responds more to sculpture than painting access to the city’s many
and often incorporates sculptural elements wonderful institutions for
into her own gestural abstract paintings. study and research. Michael
While in San Francisco during has been the recipient of a
graduate school, Michael’s experience of prestigious Smithsonian Artist
the radiant California landscape added its Research Fellowship. This
own layer of influence to her work. Living honor granted her access to
near the mountains, she absorbed the strong the museums, collections,
California environment and processed it and curators of the Arthur M.
into her painterly style. Sackler and Freer Gallery of
In Washington, she has been influenced Art, where she has researched
by the political life of the capital. Her color on Hindu Shiva and Vishnu
palette has altered, as lately she has been sculptures, and the Hirshhorn
painting in variations of black-white-grey Museum and Sculpture

Tracey M. Hawkins is a Professor of Art History at the Art Institute of


Atlanta and a Contributing Editor to this magazine.

Maggie Michael, (top left) You Conquer Me, 2007-08, ink, latex, spray paint, enamel, vinyl
stickers and nails through canvas, approx. 20" X 24". (bottom right) Cage, 2006, latex, ink, maggie michael 83
enamel, oil, charcoal on canvas, 60" X 40".
17th Annual USArtists
American Fine Art Show
October 17 – 19, 2008
Preview Gala Thursday, October 16
33rd Street Armory, Philadelphia
usartists.org • 215.972.2042

John Evans, Gallery Henoch

Robert Henry Adams Fine Art Debra Force Fine Art, Inc. Pennsylvania Art Conservatory Presenting Sponsor
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& Conservation Studio To Benefit
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Guarisco Gallery
Blue Heron Fine Art Quester Gallery
Hawthorne Fine Art, LLC
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Gallery Henoch
Childs Gallery Somerville Manning Gallery
Koman Fine Art
Clarke Gallery John H. Surovek Gallery
Ernest S. Kramer Fine
Contessa Gallery Arts & Prints, Inc. Tanner-Hill Gallery
The Cooley Gallery McClees Galleries Susan Teller Gallery
David David Gallery Menconi & Schoelkopf Vincent Vallarino Fine Art, Ltd
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Dolan/Maxwell Stephen O'Brien Jr. Verve Gallery
Fine Arts, LLC
F.A.N. Gallery Walker-Cunningham Fine Art
Papillon Gallery
Dr. Tom Folk Sande Webster Gallery
from the curator

" a q ui estamos "

Organizing a Cuban
Art Exhibition
By F. Lennox campello

Adding to Ramos’ mixed media etchings


and paintings in the exhibition, are the
Santeria-inspired photographs of Marta
Maria Perez Bravo, perhaps the leading
Cuban photographer of her generation, and
her younger compatriot Cirenaica Moreira,
Several years ago, almost by accident, as a whose feminist and politically-driven work
fundraiser for the Havana Hebrew Com- have been described as “woman as vagina
munity Center, I co-curated an exhibition of dentata”. The paintings and digital prints of
Cuban art in the greater Washington, DC, Aimee Garcia Marrero, almost exuberant
area, putting together artists from Cuba in their technical skill, also add narrative
with those from the Cuban diaspora around scenarios to the mix.
the world. It was a tremendously successful Cuban-born and Boston resident
exhibition, both critically and commercially. Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons is perhaps
Since then I have continued to develop my the most important Cuban artist in exile.
ties and relationship with many of those art- As evidence, I point out that she has shown
ists as well as new ones, and this new exhibi- at New York’s Museum of Modern Art,
tion, “Aqui Estamos (Here We Are)”, to be Minneapolis’s Walker Art Center, the
held at H&F Fine Arts, is the last in an in- Smithsonian, the Venice Biennale, and many
teresting series of Cuban art exhibitions that other prestigious venues around the world.
I have curated. of Art hosted “Everything Is Separated
And last year the Indianapolis Museum
In “Aqui Estamos”, I have put together by Water”, a mid-career retrospective of
the core of some of the artists whom I Campos-Pons’ paintings, sculptures, photos,
consider to be among the best of a leading and installations.
group of contemporary Cuban artists. These These artists and others in this
artists, working mostly out of Havana, use exhibition will show viewers a visual artistic
their art not only as a means of expressing roadmap of clues and signs, all deeply
their plastic arts talents, but also as a immersed in the Latin American tradition of
powerful vehicle to deliver strong narrative narrative artwork. It is married to political
issues, ideas, and concepts. Often, members and historical references as well as personal
of this brave group challenge in subtle ways iconography. It is equally important as a
the harsh realities of Cuban life, governed, significant and historical footprint of their
as they have been for almost 50 years, by an birth nation’s history.
iron-fisted dictatorship with little room for
dissidence in any form or manner. The exhibition has an opening reception on
Key among this talented group are November 1, 2008 from 5-8PM and runs
the works of Sandra Ramos, a young and through November 29. H&F Fine Arts is at
multitalented Havana painter, videographer, located at 3311 Rhode Island Avenue in Mount
printmaker, installation artist and sculptor. Rainier, MD, just outside of Washington, DC.

Sandra Ramos, Azrael, 2006, mixed media on canvas. Aimee Garcia Marrero, Aliento
(Breath), oil on canvas. Cirenaica Moreira, La Libertad es una palabra enorme (Freedom from the curator 87
is a Huge Word), gelatin silver print.
ARTISTS

nathan fischer

Transformation
in Bronze
umbers, rusts and steel the same time inheriting an industrial feel.
blues. While to some this The organic tone of Fischer’s work, fused
might seem like a limited with his medium results in art “with an
array of color, Fischer edge.” And that edge comes from trusting
takes it as a personal the inherent randomness that comes with
challenge and so forms each piece. Fischer enjoys the fact that his
When you first think of the alloy bronze, deep skies, rich horizons, and unusual work is totally unique. Having developed the
you typically think of a sculpture, carefully vanishing points. process himself, no one does similar work
modeled in clay and then cast in a foundry. “A lot of trial and error goes into each which is why collectors respond so favorably
However, when contemporary artist Nathan piece,” comments Fischer. “Sometimes I to his art. With their contemporary flair,
Fischer thinks of bronze, his first inclination is get lucky and finish a piece the first time... Fischer notes, “nothing beats completing a
“landscape.” It is that mental transformation I love those days!” His work reflects why piece that turns out just as he imagines and
that Fischer uses in his artwork, as he takes a he is drawn to art as he believes it “speaks hopes, especially when that piece also grabs
medium typically used one way and converts the universal language of the landscape,” the attention of someone else.” Indeed, once
it into bronze panels, much like canvases that which can be appreciated by all, whether that happens, the transformation that Fisher
collectors are eager to hang on their walls. you are a traditionalist or have a taste for strives for is complete.
Perhaps it’s not surprising that Nathan the more contemporary. Indeed, some – Clark D. Olson
Fischer came to use bronze in his artwork, as might even suggest that his work at times
he first learned the process of casting bronze has an Asian feel, with large amounts of
Nathan Fischer is represented by Bonner
sculpture at his father’s art foundry, the negative space, allowing the viewer to feel
David Galleries in Scottsdale, AZ. For more
Monterey Sculpture Center. Working side by almost insignificant when compared to the
information, visit bonnerdavid.com.
side with his father, himself an accomplished vastness of the landscape. It is this
artist, he felt a closeness to the arts dating minimalism that attracts the eye of the con-
from his boyhood days in California. But it temporary collector.
was the beauty of the coastline in Monterey, A host of influences have shaped the
where the water transitioned from land and way Nathan Fischer works. Initially, being
sky that prompted his love of the landscape. surrounded by talented artists instilled in
Capturing the varied way nature lights these him an appreciation for art, design, and
elements are the focus of Fischer’s unusual creativity. His inherent talent was shaped
artistic technique. by his formal training, earning a Bachelor
Fischer starts by forming panels of of Arts in Interior Design, with an emphasis
a sheet of bronze. It must be cut, bent, in art history. In fact, Fischer still practices
soldered, and finished with detailed refining interior and architectural design throughout
work before he can fully use it as a “canvas” California even in the midst of his successful
for his artistic technique. By sanding and career as an artist.
polishing the surface he creates underlying Of late, Fischer has been practicing
dimensions which are accentuated by “green art”. As such, he saves the dust from
welding, hammering and grinding the the bronze that is left from sanding his
surface. It is with these minute angles at the pieces and then he mixes the dust in with
surface that cause the light to bounce off the his paints. He then adds the chemicals used
tiny little grinding lines that are then colored for his metal work to get organic tones and
by applying various chemicals in different a natural patina effect with the paint. The
layers to the raw metal, sometimes while result—waste free art!
being heated with a torch. Obviously, his Fischer is compelled to create
color palette is comprised largely of golds, something natural and soothing, while at

Nathan Fischer: (top left) Layered, 2008, patina on bronze, 12" x 22". (bottom right) East to
West, 2008, patina on bronze, 32.5" x 20". artists 91
ARTISTS

brian scott

The Process of
Creating Art

Brian Scott’s Totem works are made of large blocks of pristine glass in the sand
transparent or semi-opaque glass cast in forms. Aluminum, generally scrap metal
aluminum. The color of the glass might from old cars, is next heated until it fluxes at
be transparent, opalescent, amber, yellow, 1200 degrees. He pours this molten metal
green, blue, aqua, violent, and/or red. His into his prepared molds, and the heat from
works range in height from sixteen inches the aluminum crazes the glass, with dif-
to eleven feet tall. To begin his unique pro- ferent colors of glass fracturing to varying
cess, Scott makes molds in wet sand. He degrees. Scott finishes each Totem by
then impresses various textures along the grinding away the unwanted metal or
dies of these molds. After this, he positions adding solder.

Brian Scott’s work is represented by Coady


Contemporary in Santa Fe, NM. For more
information, visit coadycontemporary.com.

92 A|C|A Sept/Oct 2008 Brian Scott: Totem series. For more image information, visit acamagazine.com.
ARTISTS

MARK RICHARDS

A Look At
Computers
Past

The evolution of the computer from


room-size machine to PC, from symbol of
American technical superiority to consumer
good, is cataloged in Mark Richards’
Core Memory.

Core Memory began as a project for the


Computer History Museum, located
unsurprisingly in Mountain View, California,
the home to Google and the heart of Silicon
Valley. Over time, though, the undertaking
became a larger, aesthetically grounded
production, due to Richards’ knack for
bridging technology with art.

Core Memory: A Visual Survey of Vintage


Computer is available in hardcover
from Chronicle Books. An exhibition
of Richards’ photographs was also
exhibited this summer at Etherton
Gallery in Tucson, AZ.

Mark Richards: (top right) IBM System/360 Model 91 Console Tape Drives (from 1968). (middle left)
U.S. Army/University of Pennsylvania, ENIAC [Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer] Computer
(from 1946). (bottom right) U.S. Airforce/IBM, Western Electrics, SDC, SAGE [Semi-Automatic Ground ARTISTs FOCUS 93
Environment] (from 1961). All images copyright 2007.and courtesy of Etherton Gallery.
ARTISTS

gwen laine

In Her Own Words

I make art that I often don’t fully


understand until two or three years
after I complete it. This is partially
true of of my new installation, which
I am calling “Passing Through.” A
little more than three years ago, I
began a new series of photographs,
each of which involved constructing
a scene in the small space of my
dining room. Over the course of
several months and after creating
five images, I became lost. I
struggled for some time trying to over my work. But in this work, one of my Mylar of the bubble balloons. In the
create the next image, but nothing worked. decisions was to employ materials over which reflection of the silver Mylar balloons,
Finally, I gave up. I set the five work prints I had limited control as time passed. you look back – at yourself or beyond. By
on a corner of my desk and went on to new I included images of hands in this filling the balloons with helium, I achieved
work. work for two purposes. First, a photograph momentary control over my installation. I
One day this past summer, I was is primarily a record of reflected light at a determined the initial balance of the room,
running late to meet a friend for lunch when particular moment in time, and when we but I knew that the helium began escaping
the work prints caught my eye. I stopped to look at them, we are looking backward immediately and, ultimately, the balance of
look through them and, at that moment, I through time. We know that each of these the work would be determined by something
knew what the next image would be. As I hands moved on the instant after the image beyond my control.
was sketching it, I realized why I had gotten was recorded, and that moment is gone Viewers are the final chance component
lost three years earlier. All along, I had been forever. Yet here we stand, today, looking in the installation, serving as temporary
creating installations that I was forcing into at that moment. Second, the images are visual elements as they are reflected in the
photographs. This newest idea had to be a suggestion, an idea. Hands are often the balloons. Passing through the room, the air
produced as an installation. tools through which our minds control our they displace jostles the images, causing
Two things drive me to work lives, but some degree of what occurs in them to rotate until the air stills. A bit
photographically. The first is the control it our lives is due to chance, to circumstances like rolling dice, their final position will be
gives me in the art making process, and the beyond our control. determined by chance.
second is the desire to subvert that control. I used Mylar in three forms for this
For this installation, I relied upon degrees installation, as each added photographic
of control and chance to create a work that qualities to the work. The clear Mylar on Gwen Laine is represented by Carson/van
changes over time. As an artist, I make which the images are printed allows for Straaten Gallery in Denver, CO. For more
certain decisions which give me control seeing through, or forward, as does the clear information, visit vanstraatengallery.com.

94 A|C|A Sept/Oct 2008 Gwen Laine, installation view of “Passing Through”, courtesy of van Straaten Gallery.
ARTISTS

DAVID EDDINGTON

Portfolio: “Bridges
Over the L.A. River”
British-born David Eddington has lived
in Los Angeles for less than a decade,
yet he has managed to discover one of
the many forgotten facets of the city:
the L.A. River and the many bridges
the span it. The bridges were part of an
ambitious attempt at urban planning as
a means of establishing a city identity.
In this series, Eddington partnered with
the Los Angeles Conservancy to capture
these unique structures, many of which
are threatened with demolition or drastic
reconfiguration. The way that he paints
them recalls depictions of Europe’s grand
monuments and evokes a similar sense
of historical grandeur in a city that often
neglects its past.

David Eddington’s “Bridges Over the L.A.


River” was featured at Frank Pictures
Gallery in Santa Monica, CA. For more
information, visit frankpicturesgallery.com.

David Eddington: (top right) Water Levels at 6th Street Viaduct, metallic acrylic on linen,
72" x 96". (above left) Macy Bridge, metallic acrylic on linen, 72" x 68". artists 95
(above right) Blue View, metallic acrylic on linen, 50" x 45".
ARTISTS

eva carter

Two Artists Find


Inspiration in
Their Charleston
Setting

Eva Carter works in a studio on the fading light on the watery horizon.
intercoastal waterway in Charleston, There is a balance of energy and
South Carolina. A spiritual connection grace in Eva Carter’s paintings and it
can be drawn between her large abstract is that distinctive perspective that has
paintings and the ambiance of the natural won her national acclaim. “I paint
environment. Like the mix of fresh and for me, but the universal emotions
salt waters in Charleston Harbor, Carter’s translated to viewers are the
expressionistic paintings commingle diverse connections that excite me. I don’t
life experiences, which include three have a map when I begin the journey.
distinctive stages in her life: her upbringing I just step up to the canvas and let
and education in rural Tennessee, her intuition tell me where my brush
extensive travels into the desert southwest, should travel,” she says. Her abstract
and her mature life steeped in the tradition expressionist paintings have been
of the historic South. Although she doesn’t included in numerous exhibitions
paint the literal landscape, her inspiration at gallery spaces, universities and
is charged by the idyllic setting of her colleges, corporate collections,
Wadmalaw Island studio, where she watches as well as museums throughout
the ebb and flow of intercoastal tides or the the Southeast.

Eva Carter: (clockwise from top right) Passionate Venture, 2008, oil on canvas, 60" x 48"; Summer
96 A|C|A Sept/Oct 2008 Song, 2008, oil on canvas, 36" x 48"; Night Tide, 2008, oil on canvas, 72" x 66".
ARTISTS

k arin olah

According to Karin Olah, her art falls into from her vast fabric collection. Translucent to her work, though in an abstract sense.
many categories. “It can be described as layers of cottons, silks, and linens blend with “In Charleston, when you drive over the
painting, collage age, or fiber art,” she says. opaque calligraphic brushstrokes as graphite bridge, you see a bird’s-eye-view; where
Her work is also informed by “graffiti art, lines intersect the surface. Karin finishes local islands, rivers, and marshes spread
calligraphy and cursive handwriting, fashion, many of the compositions with a dance of out in the distance,” she says. “It’s a very
and language.” Olah works on canvas, linen, colorful encircling thread. flat perspective of colors - blue, silver, aqua,
and paper, creating her signature collage Karin Olah’s style is a tangible patch- green, creamy whites and neutral tones. You
paintings as a way to connect with America’s work of her experiences. From a small- see the sky mirrored in the waterways and
quilt making heritage. Using fabric, town upbringing in Lancaster County, you see loose threads of rivers circling the
often antique textiles, the artist works in a Pennsylvania, her interest in Amish quilts islands.” The city’s center also provides
manner that mimics the flow of paint from and textile traditions led her to study Fiber a vivid model. “Picturesque downtown is
a brush. Intricately cut, placed, and pasted Art at Maryland Institute College of Art full of inspiring colors and subjects: pastel
threads overlap one another and become in Baltimore. For several years following colored mansions, wrought ironwork, historic
the paintings’ stories. Much of the artist’s art school, Karin managed a textile studio churches, palmetto trees, cobblestone alleys,
palette pairs historical Charleston colors in New York City, developing colors and and the deepest blue sky,” she adds.
with lush complementary tones selected patterns for clients, including Donna Karan, In general, the medium in which she
Marc Jacobs, Ralph Lauren, works excites Olah: “I love the implications
and Peter Marino Interior of working with textiles. There is something
Architects. Now applying very intimate and domestic about it. My
her fabric know-how to the work is really an exploration of material and
realm of painting, Karin finds abstraction. It’s about many visual influences
her collage art featured in seen in my world as well as a history that
numerous group and solo came before it.”
exhibitions, as well as in several
corporate collections. Karin is The work of both Eva Carter and Karin Olah
active in the visual art scene: can be found at Eva Carter Gallery, located at
curating and directing Eva 132 E. Bay St. in Charleston, SC. For more
Carter Gallery in Charleston. information, visit evacartergallery.com.
Her time in Charleston
has been very influential

Karin Olah: (top) Artesanato, 2008, Fabric, gouache, acrylic, graphite on linen, 30" x 60".
(bottom) Opus Unraveled, 2008, Fabric, gouache, acrylic, graphite on linen, 30" x 40". artists 97
ARTISTS

SHELLY HEARNE

An Emerging Colorado Colorist

Shelly’s formal train- each other and without saying a word, they
ing is in interior design and break into a grin. That’s the emotional effect
perhaps that is why her Shelly’s art has on people.”
collectors have embraced Hearne’s work is available as originals
her work. She has a clear as well as finely made giclée reproductions
understanding of what her on either archival watercolor paper and
creative vision can make canvas. Editions are limited and quality
people feel. She intuitively is tightly controlled. In addition to The
knows what people like Collective Fine Art Gallery, Shelly Hearne
to enjoy on a daily basis. is represented by Warrior’s Work and
Hearne’s success can be Best West Galleries in Hill City, South
measured by acceptance in Dakota and the Bradley House in Boulder,
both corporate and private Colorado. Hearne’s work has appeared in
collections throughout the many invitational shows throughout the west
west. The Marriott Hotel, including Vail, San Francisco, Denver, and
Colorado artist Shelly Hearne consistently Medical Center of the Rockies, Neenan the Museum of Contemporary Art in Fort
evolves. Originally working in pastels, Archistruction, Inc., and design professionals Collins.
Hearne’s organic style embraces her vision have placed Hearne’s work throughout public – Kathy Bauer
of the western landscape. Trees, mountains, buildings. Private collectors throughout the
and hills take on a new perspective and United States and abroad have embraced
palette with angular horizons, stylized aspen Hearne’s work for its ease on the eye, bold
groves, and dramatic skies. Now working in structure and warm palette.
acrylic, Hearne’s mastery of color simply “The detail of my subject matter is
glows. The warmth of the panels captures of less importance to me that its cast and
the eye, the imagination, and the buyer all movement. To capture the curvature of a calla
at once. Often likened to a stained glass lily is to enlighten the viewer to my own vision
window, Hearne’s work is at once bold and of a simple flower,” she says. Hearne draws
dramatic yet easy to live with. Her stylized inspiration from the work of Wolf Kahn and
trees and florals are enchanting, striking and Georgia O’Keeffe. “My own personal style
exciting all at once. has evolved into a more representational
“As a form of communication, color is one. My work is a simple communication of
irreplaceable,” Hearne says from her Fort nature’s often complicated substance and
Collins, Colorado, studio. “The concept vibrance,” she continues.
of color may be approached from several Jim Benest, owner of The Collective
disciplines; perhaps the most versatile is Fine Art Gallery in Fort Collins, says, Shelly Hearne’s work can be seen at The
art.” Her work is a collection of color and “Shelly’s work is universally accepted by Collective Fine Art Gallery at 109 South
movement as well as expression of emotion men and women alike and that’s not always College Avenue in Fort Collins, CO. For
and value. Her intent as an artist is to evoke the case in the gallery world. A couple will more information phone the gallery at (970)
an emotive response from the viewer. enter the gallery, gasp at a piece, look at 224-1231 or visit ShellyHearne.com.

Shelly Hearne: (top left) Colorado Morning, original acrylic. (bottom right) Petal Parquetry,
98 A|C|A Sept/Oct 2008 original acrylic.
ARTISTS

B E N N I G H T H O R S E campbell

After the US Senate,


a Flood of Inspiration
Many people know Ben Nighthorse Camp- leader and innovator once again with his
bell for the role he played as a United States contemporary designs and unmatched stone
Senator. He has earned himself much no- combinations.
toriety for his bipartisan political astute- “I never wanted to take traditional
ness, western dress, signature ponytail, and Navajo designs, like many do, and turn it
Harley Davidson motorcycle. He was even into something new,” Nighthorse Campbell
quoted saying, “Neither George Washington said. “I wanted to draw from my own
nor Thomas Jefferson wore neckties. What’s heritage, experiences and journeys to create
good enough for the founding fathers of our contemporary designs, rich in culture.”
country is certainly good enough for me.” Using only the highest quality of
He also made political history. He has been materials of 18kt gold, sterling silver
one of only three Native Americans to serve and precious and semi–precious stones,
in the U.S. Senate, served as the only Na- Nighthorse Campbell often does not leave
tive American during his tenure, and was any side of his pieces untouched by design.
the first in over 70 years. His influence on He draws inspiration from a conversation he
the political circuit was not just left to his had with a fellow Native American. “You
heritage, Nighthorse Campbell passed more cannot see the full beauty of the mountain”,
laws in the one hundred sixth Congress than said Nighthorse Campbell speaking of
any member of the U.S. Senate according this conversation. “Its beauty can only be
to the congressional record. In fact, over his appreciated by looking at the other side.”
two Senate terms, he also passed more pub- designs have debuted in both sterling silver
lic laws than any previous U.S. Senator from and coveted 18kt gold.
Colorado. “Stress, long hours, and fatigue are
Finishing his term in 2005, Nighthorse killers of inspiration”, Nighthorse Campbell
Campbell moved on and began to walk a dif- says of his years in public office, “I was
ferent path, one he started far before any getting creatively barren.” Today, he is
political involvement. This path was one of still involved in public policy, representing
an artist and designer, a creative side that American Indian tribes, municipalities, and
was sparked by his father at an early age. corporations on a variety of Native American
Now standing at the forefront of contem- issues for the powerful Washington, DC firm
porary Native American jewelry, Northern of Holland & Knight. However, life has
Cheyenne, Ben Nighthorse Campbell is a changed since he left the Senate. Restfully
With the thought that beauty is all- residing on his ranch high atop a Mesa
encompassing and all around, he adds details, in Southwestern Colorado, Nighthorse
such as symbols reminiscent to ancient rock Campbell is moved by a flood of inspiration
art, horses, bears and other animals, to the that has entered his mind, unlike any other
interiors and opposite sides of many of his time in his life.
pieces. Highly wearable, stylized gems, his
jewelry breaks boundaries of Southwestern For more information on Ben Nighthorse and
attire, often lending itself towards high to see the complete Nighthorse collection, visit
fashion couture. With each new season new sorrelsky.com.

Ben Nighthorse Campbell: (bottom left) Hidden Horse Bracelet, 18kt gold, diamonds, turquoise, lapis.
100 A|C|A Sept/Oct 2008 (center) Painted Mesa Bracelets, sterling silver, copper, brass, german silver. (top right) Diamond
Totem Bracelet with Turquoise & Step Up Bracelet, turquoise, lapis, diamonds.
THE NEW JEWELRY DESIGNS BY BEN NIGHTHORSE

Painted Mesa Bracelet


Wide Rock Art
Sterling Silver, Copper, Brass and
German Silver

870 Main Avenue

Durango, Colorado 81301

970.247.3555 866.878.3555
O

www.sorrelsky.com
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parting thoughts

Art and Allegory


By Christopher Church

a ccording to Walter Benjamin, twentieth-


century theorist and cultural historian,
cryptic? Is the meaning hidden somewhere among
the brush strokes and dabs of paint—in the ruins
“Allegories are, in the realm of thoughts, what of an idea which, once whole in the mind’s eye of
ruins are in the realm of things.” Yet, what causes the artist, lays shattered into pigmented fragments?
the ruinous nature of allegories, and why do they Unfortunately, acknowledging the conundrum does
function as vestiges of something that was once not provide a rubric. Art critics and theorists alike
whole? Perhaps, in the translation of thoughts remain at a loss.
into the images that represent them, allegories, In allegory, one sees the breakdown of
by definition, befuddle or confuse reason. Such a authorial control, of the authority of the author over
translation inevitably results in a peculiar method his intended meaning. This disconnect displays the
of stating one thing while meaning another. How sheer materiality of the painting in general, but it
then are we supposed to understand a painting in muddles the conveyance of meaning. Nevertheless,
which the latent content is shrouded? the painting carries political, emotional, and
Without a referent for the signifier, one might intellectual impact, and the ability to generate
assume that the allegorical painting functions as pure meaning is in no way hampered. Rather, in allegory,
signifier, and, in the opinion of art critic Clement what one loses is not meaning—for, in fact, one
Greenberg, as modern art proper. However, can argue that allegory multiplies meaning—but
one cannot detach the physical painting from its affixation. Like the ruins of an ancient civilization,
metaphysical content. In other words, one cannot one can only guess what each element “means”,
sever the signifying connection. The modern artist and this guessing game attempts to assign to
challenges his or her audience to “decipher” his or each signifier a particular referent. Yet, insofar as
her work. The more extreme the form, the bigger archaeologists disagree, so too do art theorists and
that challenge becomes. A painting by Pollock, for critics. This consistent disagreement ensures that
example, defies its onlooker to read a meaning into the game of guessing has no winner, no conclusion;
the image. Should the viewer see the work as nothing by virtue of their allegorical nature, the works of
more than pigment upon canvas, pretty colors placed modern and contemporary art remain suspended in
in an amusing pattern? Or is the painting far more time, space, and meaning. ACA

Christopher Church is a Ph.D candidate in history at the University of California at


106 A|C|A Sept/Oct 2008
Berkeley. He studied art history in Paris.
Sculpture Objects &
Functional Art Fairs
SOFA CHICAGO 2008
November 7-9, Navy Pier

SOFA NEW YORK 2009


April 16-19, Park Avenue Armory

SOFA SANTA FE 2009


June 11-14, Santa Fe Convention Center

SOFA CHICAGO 2009


November 6-8, Navy Pier

Dale Chihuly, Holsten Galleries


Photo: Scott Mitchell Leen

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