Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Working Clothes!


Frank Stella, ca. late 50s early 60s
photographer unknown



I recently ran across this old photo of Frank Stella in a ratty but obviously well loved studio sweater and it occurred to me what a strong role our studio get ups play in maintaining consistency and ritual in our studio lives, perhaps even serving as armor or confidence builders as we face the days work.
So, I asked some of my favorite artists from all over the world to submit photographs of themselves in the working clothes they felt most comfortable wearing while making their art.
The results are below . . .




Debra Ramsay, New York, NY



Mandy Lyn Ford, Los Angeles, CA




Joan Mellon, New York, NY




Arvid Boecker, Heidelberg, DE




Nooshin Rostami, Brooklyn, NY
Photo taken at the Artel Residency in India, 2016




Katrin Mäurich, London, UK




René Korten, Tilburg, NL



Sharon Butler, New York, NY




Sabine Tress, Köln, DE




Brian Edmonds, Huntsville, AL




Samantha Keely Smith, New York, NY
photo by Thomas Feiner




Paul Behnke, Brooklyn, NY
photo by Alice Zavadil Wiggins




Andrea Belag, New York, NY




Karl Bielik, London, UK
photo by Lorna Milburn




David Pollack, Brooklyn, NY
photo by Emily Raw





Helen O'Leary, Brooklyn, NY
photo by Eva O'Leary




Cristina Muñiz, Kansas City , MO




Matthew Neil Gehring, Brooklyn, NY




James Erikson, Philadelphia, PA




Mie Yim, Brooklyn, NY




Damien Flood, Dublin, Ireland




Gabriele Herzog, based in London and Berlin




Gary Petersen, Brooklyn, NY




Michael David, 1992 in Williamsburg, Brooklyn




Julie Torres, Brooklyn, NY
photo by Eric Trosko





*all photographs courtesy of the artists


Monday, May 16, 2016

Reckless in an Ever-Changing World at Life on Mars


Clintel Steed,  Men Finding His Conchise on Mars, 2016. Oil on wood panel. 48 by 65 inches 




Reckless in an Ever-Changing World 
Curated by John Yau  

Featuring works by Phil Allen, Karen Schwartz, and Clintel Steed
May 20 – June 26, 2016 

Opening Reception: Friday, May 20th from 6 – 9 PM 


From the Press Release:

Life on Mars Gallery is pleased to present Reckless in an Ever-Changing World, curated by John Yau with works by Phil Allen, Karen Schwartz, and Clintel Steed. 

In 1976, the American expatriate artist, R. B. Kitaj, organized an exhibition for the Arts Council of Great Britain that he named Human Clay. I was reminded of Kitaj’s title when I began thinking about how to put together this exhibition. I wanted to make a distinction between painters who made images and were interested in resemblance, and those who worked with paint as if it were some kind of clay, a material to shape and interact with, while responding to their subject matter. This is not exactly what Kitaj had in mind when he coined the term, but I think the viewer will see what I am getting at. 

The focus of this exhibition is on three artists who have concocted figures and faces out of paint. This is how Clintel Steed, one of the artists in the exhibition, characterized the relationship between painter and subject matter: “Nothing comes close to human contact, real human presence. Nothing ever will.” 

In addition to Steed, I have selected two other artists – Phil Allen and Karen Schwartz – for whom painting is also an open-ended process. They do not know in advance what the outcome will be as they develop a painting; improvisational in approach, they bring both observation and imagination into play. It is the interplay between the seeing eye and the mind’s eye that unites these artists: they believe that painting is a means of discovery rather than an efficient delivery system. 

Along with figures and making portraits, they have painted landscapes, both seen and dreamed; abstractions made up of interlocking facets of paint, or populated by mythic creatures, or filled with brushstrokes and evocative forms within a traversable space. No matter the subject, all of their work celebrates materiality, which is paint. By unlocking its inherent possibilities and varied viscosities, these intrepid artists discover the particularities of their subject. They seem to have no set vocabulary, lexicon of symbols, or signature marks. They are adventuresome. 

The subject might be an astronaut on Mars, a pop music icon, or a voracious goddess devouring a hapless human. Courting chaos and the inchoate, their work is energetic and reckless. It is out of the collision between the desire for order and the recognition of disorder that their work emerges. All kinds of contradictions are woven into their paintings and works on paper. 

Phil Allen began exhibiting in 1979, and showed regularly throughout the 1990s, both in America and Europe. During that time, he received an Award in the Visual Arts from SECCA (1983), and Fellowships from CAPS (1980), the National Endowment for the Arts (1982) and the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation (1986). This is his first exhibition in New York in more than a decade. He lives in New York City and has been known to busk when the spirit moves him. 

Karen Schwartz is both a painter and a psychotherapist. She is represented by Hathaway David Contemporary in Atlanta, Georgia and by Life on Mars Gallery in Brooklyn, New York. Her first solo exhibition at Life on Mars (May 2015) was widely reviewed by critics as diverse as James Panero for the New Criterion, Kristi York Wooten for the Huffington Post, and Thomas Micchelli for the online magazine, Hyperallergic

Clintel Steed’s work was included in the 2015 Invitational Exhibition of Visual Arts hosted annually by the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He first exhibited in New York City in 2004 and has been showing regularly ever since. He had a two-person show with Todd Bienvenu at Stephen Harvey Fine Art Projects in 2015. 

John Yau 


Life on Mars
Brooklyn, NY




Tuesday, May 3, 2016

If Color Could Kill, Curated by Jeff Frederick at the Salena Gallery LIU


 Photo by Jeff Frederick



 Photo by Jeff Frederick



Photo by Robin Stout



 Brooke Moyse, Partick Berran, Trudy Benson, Jeff frederick, Gary Petersen, Robert Otto Epstein and Paul Behnke. Photo by Jake Cartwright



Paul Behnke, Craig Taylor and Trudy Benson



 Trudy Benson






 Paul Behnke



 Keltie Ferris, Robert Otto Epstein, Paul Behnke



 Trudy Benson



 Craig Taylor



 Brooke Moyse



 Curator Jeff Frederick and Paul Behnke
Photo by Robin Stout






 Brooke Moyse



 Gary Petersen



Partick Berran




If Color Could Kill
curated by Jeff Frederick

Featuring work by: Paul Behnke, Trudy Benson, Patrick Berran, Robert Otto Epstein, Keltie Ferris, Brooke Moyse, Gary Petersen and Craig Taylor

April 4 - April 29, 2016

Salena Gallery at Long Island University


**If Color Could Kill will travel to Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, NY. 
Check this blog in the future for details.**


Moses@90






From the Press Release:

William Turner Gallery is pleased to present Ed Moses at 90, a milestone exhibition and the first comprehensive retrospective of the artist's drawings and paintings since 1996. The installation will occupy two venues: William Turner Gallery and the former Santa Monica Museum of Art building at Bergamot Station. 

On the occasion of Moses' 90th birthday, the exhibition will celebrate the varied and prolific career of this indelible Los Angeles art world fixture. A painter and "mutator", whose allegiances have been to tireless experimentation rather than to the tenets of any one movement, Ed Moses has been honing a distinct visual vocabulary for over 60 years, obsessively mining the possibilities of abstraction. At 90, Moses continues his dogged search for the elusive metaphysical power of painting, creating works that are about the expression of temporality, process and presence, beyond the physical limitations of surface.

The exhibition will survey works spanning the entirety of Moses' career, including a selection of never before seen paintings. Earliest examples include meticulous architecturally inspired drawings from the 50s, the well-known Rose and patterned graphite drawings from the 1960s and 70s, cross hatch and screen paintings, looser gestural paintings from the 1990s, and more recent works that include the craquelure and mirror paintings. The restless energy with which Moses has borrowed from pre-existing formal vocabularies and adapted their morphologies to make them his own, attest to the mutable nature of his vision. A self-described "mark maker," his concerns exceed formal ones and slip easily into philosophical and anthropological spaces. He has described his own process as a shamanistic offering, a self-assertion and proof of existence left for posterity to the "tribe"; a primitive desire to leave one's mark. Above all else, the work is about the process of making, and the fragile reconciliation of chaos and control it requires. In Moses' own words: "The point is not to be in control, but to be in tune."

A member of the original stable of artists showing at LA's legendary Ferus gallery, Moses exhibited there for the first time while still an MFA student at UCLA in 1958. Exhibiting among the likes of Billy Al Bengston, Robert Irwin, Ed Kienholz, Larry Bell, and John Altoon, all of whom became known as the fabled "Cool School," Moses was among those who shaped the infancy of the West Coast art scene. A maverick among them, given his preference for process driven abstraction over strict adherence to the Finish Fetish and Light and Space movements championed at the time, Moses has always done things a bit differently. With an itinerant aesthetic, he has continued to embrace transformation and change as a matter of course. In 1974, following an exhibition in New York with André Emmerich, Clement Greenberg himself immortalized Moses as a "player."

Ed Moses works daily, to create out of doors en plein air. His unique Venice, California studio accommodates this freedom structurally with fluid transitions between indoor and outdoor spaces. This is the artist's third exhibition with William Turner Gallery. Previous exhibitions include, Ed Moses: Now and Then (2015), and Ed Moses & Larry Poons: The Language of Paint (2014).



Ed Moses: Moses@90

Through June 25

William Turner Gallery
Santa Monica, CA