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855 Inca Street, Denver, CO 80204
Translations Gallery
www. t ransl at i onsgal l ery. com
Bente Vold Klausen, Shadows in Threatened Landscape detail
September 22 - November 1, 2008
Bente Vold Klausen
855 Inca Street, Denver, CO 80204
Translations Gallery
www. t ransl at i onsgal l ery. com
Bente Vold Klausen, Shadows in Threatened Landscape detail
September 22 - November 1, 2008
Bente Vold Klausen
a collection of
recent paintings by
Eva Carter
September 26 - October 30
Eva Carter Gallery
132 East Bay Street
Charleston South Carolina
an exhibition of work by
William M Halsey
Eva Carter
Karin Olah
November 1 - 30










David Graham
Goodyear, AZ, 2006
Almost Paradise
September 19 - November 8, 2008
339 South 21
Street Philadelphia PA 19103 (NE corner of 21
& Pine sts)
1+ 215.731.1530 : :
Tuesday – Saturday: 10 am – 6 pm . Sunday & Monday by appointment
from the editors 9
*Lest you think we are Luddites with a grudge against the internet, visit our
website at
fter covering fne art for over a decade, we recently decided to
take on a larger canvas by launching this national contemporary
art magazine. In a time of economic trouble and the decline of print
media, this may seem like a counterintuitive decision. Nevertheless,
we believe that a readership exists for a comprehensive, bi-monthly
survey of the contemporary art world. Although no print publication
can complete directly with the infnite space of the internet, we will
provide a wide-ranging sampling of art from coast to coast and
contextualize it with informative and thought-provoking articles,
all in a medium suited to viewing a large number of images with
ease. While one must wade through the deluge of information
available online*, we pick out the best for you and provide it in a
tactile format.
This magazine will provide you with a frst taste of art. The
mechanical reproduction process, now using digital transmission
and a high-speed printing press, allows thousands, even millions of
people access to work that is typically created in a localized, concrete
reality. The images included inside provide a preview of works that
can best be viewed in person, at galleries, museums, and in one’s
own collection. The magazine’s contents merely whet one’s appetite
for further journeys in art, from exploring art online to attending
exhibitions and art fairs, visiting galleries, and discussing works with
friends. A quick fip through the 108 pages of this magazine offers
over 100 images, each of which can serve as a starting point for
further inquiry. (That’s not including the dozens of image-laden ads.)
Informed readers can further build their comprehensive knowledge
of contemporary art and the novice can become versed in its current
state of affairs.
For us, contemporary art describes works that break with fxed
notions of art, that fnds novel ways to present ideas and techniques.
Paintings, installations, sculpture, multimedia, and transcendent
forms will fll our pages, as will occasion forays into design,
architecture, and the way that fne art is framed in popular media.
Ultimately, though, we seek to ground ourselves in fne art and not
let occasional digressions become distracting.
Contemporary art is so often connected with New York City,
and other international capitals of arts, bursting with hundreds of
galleries. While recognizing these art meccas, we’ve also noticed
dozens of galleries around the country that remain unheralded on
the national stage. This magazine seeks to explore the art scenes in
the largest markets but also those that often escape coverage.

In each issue, we begin with a concise overview of the
institutional art world, entitled Up Front. In some cases, like this
issue, one of our editors will examine the art market; in others we
will look at important nationwide trends. The bulk of the section,
however, is comprised of a survey of contemporary art museum
exhibitions and a preview of forthcoming art fairs and events.
Although museums are important to contemporary art, we focus
the majority of our attention on art outside of formal institutions.
Our Exhibitions section offers you the broadest overview of U.S.
contemporary art galleries that can be found in a print publication.
In this frst issue and future ones, we will cover over ffty artists
exhibiting at contemporary art galleries throughout country. We try
to maintain geographic balance, while always making sure to give
due coverage to the largest markets. Starting with the fourteen
cities included in this issue, we intend to expand and increase our
breadth in the future. Over the next few issues, we will introduce
columns covering several markets. Filed by local correspondents,
these ArtScope reports will give readers a sense of the art scenes in
these cities. They will serve as a valuable resource for locals looking
for the inside scoop and readers nationwide seeking to expand their
knowledge of other markets. Look for our frst columns in the next
issue. Ultimately, we hope that the depth of this local reporting will
match the overall breadth of our exhibition coverage.
Our Artists section provides a more detailed look at individual
artists. In these pages, we examine the artistic process; display
portfolios of new work; present the stories of artists’ lives; and,
occasionally, allow some to write about their own work.
Sandwiched between these two sections, our feature stories will
paint in broader strokes. Examining city art scenes, trends, artists,
and occasionally using art to probe larger issues, these articles will
often have greater ambitions and seek to place contemporary art in
a larger context.
Our ultimate goal is to provide a wider range of information
and more visual stimuli than any other art publication. We will
continue this mission in future issues with more extensive coverage
of art in individual markets and other evolutions designed to make
this magazine a vital and enjoyable resource. For now, enjoy this
frst issue.
We want your feedback: email us at
contents 13
18 In this Issue
25 The Art Market
27 Museums
31 Art Events
37 Directory
38 Philadelphia
42 New York
45 Los Angeles
48 San Francisco
49 Chicago
50 Washington, D.C.
51 Seattle
52 Denver
54 Minneapolis
55 Southwest
56 Southeast
87 From the Curator
91 Nathan Fischer
92 Brian Scott
93 Mark Richards
94 Gwen Laine
95 David Eddington
96 Eva Carter
97 Karin Olah
98 Shelly Hearne
100 Ben Nighthorse
106 Parting Thoughts
september/october 2008
Contemporary Art in Denver
As Denver awaits its convention close-up, the city’s art
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
Michael Paglia paints a portrait of a city that is quickly
becoming a major contemporary art destination.
Minneapolis vs. Convention
A series of exhibitions present a vision of America
that contrasts with the one that will likely be presented
at the Republican National Convention. From the
government-sponsored art of the New Deal to Eero
Saarinen’s architecture and shows about the present,
Minneapolis confronts the right-wing revelry soon
to occur in neighboring St. Paul. Tori Frankel has
the story.
Art in the Age of Bush
The changing landscape of American culture is the
theme of three exhibitions from across the country:
a waterboarding installation at Coney Island and
large-scale museum exhibitions in Miami Beach and
Southern California. Eric Kalisher examines how the
political realities of the past eight years have infuenced
artists’ conceptions of the American ideal.
Inspired abstraction
Washington, DC, the capital of American politics,
provides the home base for Maggie Michael. Infuenced
by such notable artists as Joan Mitchell and Louise
Bourgeois, she creates brilliant abstract paintings (see
the cover). Tracey Hawkins explores Michael’s artistic
journey and the effect of Washington on her work.
Gregory Johnson, Natura Morte/Zen III, courtesy Stephen Haller Gallery
Friday 11am - 8pm Saturday & Sunday 11am - 7pm Monday 11am - 5pm
$20 Admission Café Catalog Wheelchair Accessible
Park Avenue & 67th Street, New York City
To benefit Planned Parenthood® Federation of America
Planned Parenthood® Hudson Peconic, Planned Parenthood® of Nassau County
Planned Parenthood® of New York City 212 274 7201
212 777 5218
Accorsi Arts Associates
ACME Fine Art
Alpha Gallery
Babcock Galleries
Mark Borghi Fine Art
Michael Borghi Fine Art
Gary Bruder
The Caldwell Gallery
Simon Capstick-Dale Fine Art
Valerie Carberry Gallery
Conner • Rosenkranz
DFN Gallery
DJT Fine Art
Elrick-Manley Fine Art
Peter Fetterman Gallery
David Findlay Jr. Fine Art
Peter Findlay Gallery
Fischbach Gallery
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
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
List incomplete
T H E I N T E R N AT I ON A L A R T F A I R - 1 9 0 0 T O C ON T E MP OR A R Y
AmericanContempMag:ARTNEWS2 8/22/08 4:11 PM Page 1
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
James Hyde, Summer Kemick,
Sungmi Lee, Avery McCarthy,
Colin Montgomery, Paul Salveson
September 13–October 18, 2008
Michael E. Smith
Ed Brown
October 26–
November 29, 2008
JENNY JASKEY GALLERY / 969 N. 2ND STREET / PHILADELPHIA, PA 19123 / +1 (215) 543-6029 /
Above: James Hyde. GUSTING. 2007. Acrylic on digital print, acrylic on wood blocks. 20.5" x 30.5"
This maxim is especially true during the
months of the September and October, in
the lead up to the 2008 presidential election.
For the cities of Denver and Minneapolis/
St. Paul, the brunt of this will be felt in the
fnal week of August and frst of September.
In picking these location, the two parties
skipped over the ffteen largest metropolitan
areas in the country and sought out emerging
cities instead of established ones.
We are following suit. Instead of New
York, Los Angeles, or Boston, we too are
setting our sights on the metropolitan hubs
of Colorado and Minnesota. Just as the
conventions will bring new awareness to
the political identities of these cities, we
hope to do the same for their art scenes.
Michael Paglia traces the history of Denver’s
contemporary art scene through the lens of
some of its key players, while Tori Frankel
looks at exhibitions in Minneapolis and
how they confront the Republican National
Convention in St. Paul. In our Exhibitions
section, we also focus on new shows in
each city, from environmental art to the
representations of the elephant.
Politics don’t end in the convention
cities. A trio of exhibitions, from opposite
corners of the country, try to navigate
political realities in post-9/11 America.
Editor Eric Kalisher places them within a
larger political context and examines the
legacy of the Age of Bush.
Washington, DC, the center of
American politics, is the home of Maggie
Michael (on the cover), whose artistic
evolution is profled by Tracey Hawkins.
Expanded coverage of Philadelphia,
home of the Constitutional Convention
of 1787, rounds out this political issue.
We devote additional pages to exhibitions
in city often labeled as the birthplace of
the nation.
– The Editors
Eric Kalisher
Richard Kalisher
Managing Editor
Donovan Stanley
Jon Morrissey
Monty Jorgensen
Photo & Copy Editor
Jamie Dennison
Assistant Editors
Khalil Khoury, Rachel Mann,
Kate Merkel, Jill Ryeth
Contributing Editors
Tracey Hawkins, Tori Frankel
Jilliane Pierce, Emily Kindler
Stephanie Kaston
Main Office
1550 Larimer St. #170
Denver, CO 80202
Richard Kalisher
(561) 542-6028
Issue 1
September/October 2008
©2008, ChromaView, Inc. Produced
in association with R.K. Graphics.
All rights reserved.
18 A|c|A sept/oct 2008
On the Cover:
maggie michael
Squid, 2007.
Acrylic latex, ink, enamel,
oil on canvas, 30" x 24"
Pc p [ > _ Al [ t c [ , * *3 =_ h n _ h h c [ f =_ f _ \ l [ n c i h
he past year has not been kind to the
economy. Not only have we seen
the failure of an eighty-year-old investment
bank, we have witnessed the frst across-
the-board decline in house values since the
Great Depression. Nevertheless, while the
primary asset of most Americans continues
to lose value in most housing markets, the
price of commodities has surged. Oil looks
poised to stay above $100 per barrel after
reaching an all-time high of just above $145.
The art market similarly has set record prices
this year. Since recovering from a long period
of weakness ending in late 2003, art prices
have continued to rise, setting records in 2007.
In fact, according to the Art Market Report,
it was only last year that the art prices broke
the previous record, set back in 1990. Now
that the drought has been over for nearly fve
years, some are fearful that recent economic
trouble in the United States and Europe
portend another downturn in the art market.
Those projecting the worst have been defed
by the numbers, however. Sotheby’s and
Christie’s set records in the frst half of the
2008, selling about $7 billion in art.
Infused with new buyers and a greater
diversity of nationalities among them, the
auction houses have benefted from this
globalization of wealth. While much of the
prospects for art sales in the boom of the
late 1980s hinged on buyers from a single
country, Japan, today they are far more
diffused around the world. According to
reporting by the Financial Times, buyers from
new economic powerhouses like China and
India are rising in infuence and compliment
a surge in sales to energy-rich Russians,
Middle-Easterners, and Brazilians. Not
only are individuals boosting the market, but
institutional sales to emerging economies
are rapidly expanding. New museums from
Abu Dhabi to Shanghai are looking to fll
their collections and walls.
The Art Market Report also
substantiated the rapid growth in the
contemporary art market, in which prices
for the top 100 artists have risen four-fold
in the past three years. As a result of the
large growth in buyers entering the art
market, the prospects for contemporary art
seem particularly bright. The reason is a
simple matter of supply and demand. As the
number of buyers increase, auction houses
will be unable to procure enough modern
and impressionist work to meet demand.
Since these kind of works are limited by
defnition, contemporary art is expected to
fll in the gap. This stands to beneft both
auction houses and art galleries. Some
expect contemporary art to dominate market
within a decade. As a bellwether, many will
look to Sotheby's Damien Hirst auction. The
event includes 223 works by Hirst, including
several from his “Natural History” series of
animals in formaldehyde. The auction takes
place on September 15 and 16. Look for it
to exceed expectations.
The prospects for U.S. art
galleries are enhanced by the increased
internationalization of buyers and bolstered
by a stabilized local market. Although the
housing downturn will affect large swaths
of the country’s populations, it is least
likely to affect those most inclined to buy
art. While more conservative forms of
art may take a hit, as some of the recently
constructed McMansions move into
foreclosure, contemporary art holds frmer
ground. Such art typically generates a more
sophisticated class of buyer as well as one
with pretenses of establishing a notable
collection. Money to spend will not be a
problem, because the majority of such art
buyers will be only superfcially affected
by economic downtown. Over the past
decade, inequality in the U.S. has surged
to such a point that an upper portion of the
population controls more money than at
any time in eighty years. Those most likely
to purchase high-priced art come from this
income bracket.
An additional factor makes it likely that
art sales will increase. While doomsayers
predict decline in the high-end auction
circuit, the market for gallery art remains
strong. As once-solid investments like real
estate (both residential and commercial),
stocks, and even hedge funds become more
volatile, savvy investors will seek to diversify
their holdings into items that defy weak
exchange rates and risk. Purchasing paintings
from emerging artists gives investors the
potential to realize large gains without
having to worry about systemic risk. When
the auction houses experience heightened
demand for contemporary works, sparked by
the international community, they must fnd
art to sell. Those in possession of desirable
works stand to beneft. And there lies the
opportunity for smart investors to realize a
sizable return.
Although times are troubling in the
general economy, the art market continues
to remain surprisingly strong. One letter
published in the Financial Times back in
May suggested that the art market always
peaks during the initial decline of the
general economy. This may be so, but as
of now, we have see no defnitive signs of a
coming collapse. Instead, the widespread
expansion of buyers in the global economy
presages strong times for auction houses
and galleries that can tap this market. In the
U.S., those in major cities stand to beneft
the most. But galleries in the interior of
the country can beneft as well, if they can
increase their exposure nationwide and
internationally. Whether among the upper
crust at home or the nouveau riche abroad,
collectors want art. Such high demand
bodes well.
Up front: the Art mArket 25
up front
by donovan stanley
Up front: mUseUms 27
(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,
mixed media.
up front
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
over 40 years. The proto-conceptualist
works of Wallace Berman, Bruce Conner,
and Edward Kienholz transition into those
of John Baldessari, Guy de Cointet, Michael
Ascher, Ed Ruscha, and other artists from the
movement’s ascendancy. The exhibition is
rounded out by work from the next generation,
who have merged the movement with the
strategies of pop, minimalist, and feminist art.
These second-generation conceptionalists
often use ironic distance to probe gender roles,
sexuality, and the construction of indentity in
a media-saturated, corporatized culture. Not
surprisingly, many of the creations transcend
the boundaries between sculpture, painting,
drawing, and performance.
Martin kippenberger
[sept 21 – Jan 5, 2009]
This German artist, who died at age 44 in
1997, receives his frst major retrospective
in the United States in this ambitious, large
scale exhibition, “The Problem Perspectives.”
From the mid-1970s onward, Kippenberger
produced a complex and richly varied body of
work, always focusing on the role of the artist
in culture. He cast himself as everything from
a publisher to an architect, and he produced
work in diverse media: paintings, sculpture,
works on paper, installations, multiples,
photographs, posters, cards, and books.
On the Horizon: The frst major survey
of Louise Bourgeois, currently featured
at the Guggenheim Museum, arrives on
October 26.
This group exhibition is inspired by the
artistic and socio-political climate of the
late 1960s, and features artists united by
the desire to mobilize art as a means of
change. Divided into three iconographic
themes — Flags, Weapons, and Dreams —
“That Was Then…This Is Now” places
these representations as central to artists’
collective aspiration towards progress.
The Flags section presents artists’
interpretations of the American fag and
explores elements of nationality, patriotism,
and iconography, as well as the debates
invoked by these concepts. The Weapons
section surveys tools used to impart
violence, both literal and psychological.
The Dreams section concludes with future-
oriented and activist art.
Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles
“Index: Conceptualism in California” [Aug 24 – dec 15]
P.S.1. Contemporary Art Center New york
“That Was Then...This Is Now” [through sept 24]
(top left) Zhang Xiaogang, Red Child, 2005, oil on canvas; 78" x 120', sigg collection.
(bottom right) superconductor, still from Magnetic Movie, 2007.
28 A|c|A sept/oct 2008
up front
Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive
“Mahjong: Contemporary Chinese Art from the Sigg Collection” [sept 10 – Jan 4, 2009]
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
flms, experimental DVDs, and multimedia
performances. The London-based pair
makes moving-image works that reveal
our physical world in fux: 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
Laboratories, UC Berkeley. The secret lives
of invisible magnetic felds are exposed as
chaotic ever-changing geometries. VLF
(very low frequency) audio recordings reveal
recurrent “whistlers” produced by feeting
electrons, while space scientists describe
their discoveries.
If having just watched the freworks (real
and faked) during the Olympics Opening
Ceremony from Beijing peaked your
interest in all things Chinese, the Berkeley
Art Museum has yet another fx. With their
landmark exhibition, art lovers are offered a
unique look at four decades
of Chinese culture and art.
The exhibition includes
141 works by 96 artists and
reveals the evolution of
Chinese art as well as the
radical changes in Chinese
society from before the
Cultural Revolution to
the age of China as
emerging economic power-
house. Drawn from the
collection of Uli Sigg, a
Swiss collector who has
built this impressive collection through his
ties to China, the scope of this exhibition
is unparalleled. In fact, it flls nine of the
museum’s ten galleries.
The survey begins in the 1970s, with
examples of the socialist realism favored
during the Cultural Revolution. It moves on
to illustrate the avant-garde movements of
the 1980s and early 1990s, and also includes
works by a generation of artists who have
emerged following China’s social and politi-
cal reforms of the past decade. Many of the
works focus on Mao or the Cultural Revolu-
tion, as well as, somewhat later, Tiananmen
Square. Others take on the rise of consumer-
ism, the increasingly stark contrast between
the urban and the rural, and the tensions
between social unity and individual expres-
sion. Works range from paintings, drawing,
and sculptures to photographs, video works,
and installations. Featured artists include Ai
Weiwei, Huang Yan, Liu Wei, Liu Xiaodong,
Wang Du, Weng Fen, Xu Bing, Yue Minjun,
Zhang Huan, and Zhang Xiaogang, as well
as a number of artists still largely unknown
outside of China.
“For Gordon Bunshaft” [permanent]
This new site-specifc work by Dan Graham
has been added to the Sculpture Garden.
Situated next to a refecting pool in the
lowest level of the Garden, the triangular
pavilion is constructed, on two sides, of two-
way mirrors (one fat, one concave), and of
a Japanese-inspired, wood grid on the third.
The piece provides a multiplicity of views
and refections, whether standing inside or
out of the pavilion, and plays off many of the
other sculptures that surround it.
Up front: mUseUms 29
(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
A Film Called Wood, 2007, 50 min. courtesy of Galerie Barbar thumm.
up front
Las Vegas clearly has identity issues. Having
reinvented itself many times over the years,
the one time mob-dominated outpost of
gritty glitter has been transformed into an
international destination for family fun and
shopping. Even today, the city continually
alters itself through building demolitions
that yield extravagant new resorts. As a
result, Vegas remains an odd symbol in our
cultural imagination. Simultaneous utopian
and dystopia, it promises all but hints at
the toll of overreaching. This exhibition
presents a complex portrait of America’s
fastest growing city through the juxtaposition
of two recent flms: Olivo Barbieri’s Las
Vegas 05 and Stephen Dean’s No More Bets.
Barbieri flms Las Vegas from a helicopter,
using a tilt-focus lens that renders objects
out of scale, transforming the city’s
iconic landmarks into toy-like simulacra.
Beginning in the desert and emphasizing
the city’s isolation as well as its antipathy for
empty spaces and blank surfaces, Barbieri’s
camera travels along the outskirts of the
city before arriving at its pulsating nerve
center, the Las Vegas Strip. In No More
Bets, Dean homes in on the luminous and
colorful signs, screens, and surfaces that
make up Las Vegas, abstracting the visual
excess and revealing beautiful, unexpected
patterns within the city’s semiotic jumble.
The two works will be shown on opposing
walls, sequentially.
Hammer Museum
Tomma Abts
[through november 9]
Tomma Abts creates small, severe paintings
that provide an intriguing antidote to the
forid fguration that has dominated the
contemporary painting discourse in the last
decade. The exhibition includes fourteen
paintings, all of them the same size (19.8 x
15 inches).
John Lautner
[through october 12]
This exhibition of the Southern Californian
architect’s work, “Between Earth and
Heaven,” features a design that is as visceral
an experience as Lautner’s buildings
themselves. Newly crafted large-scale models
will give a sense of the internal spaces and
scale of key projects, and digital animations
will reveal Lautner’s construction processes.
Surrounding this dramatic core will be
a wealth of archival materials, including
never-before-seen drawings, architectural
renderings, study models and construction
photographs, all of which will offer visitors
insight into how the structures and spaces
unfolded in Lautner’s mind and emerged
physically in their settings.
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
“Double Down” [sept 18 – Jan 4, 2009]
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-
specifc 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.
Museum of Contemporary
Art North Miami
“Dark Continents”
[sept 26 – nov 9]
30 A|c|A sept/oct 2008
for more information, visit
up front
• New Museum of Contemporary Art
“After Nature” [through sept 21]
An international and multigenerational group of artists depict
a universe in which humankind is being eclipsed and a new ecological
balance is sought. “A study of the present through a place in the
“2008 Altoids Award” [through oct 12]
This biennial exploration of American emerging art honors four
panel-selected artists. This year, Ei Arakawa, Lauren Kelley,
Michael Patterson-Carver, and Michael Stickrod were chosen.
Coming in October: Elizabeth Peyton & Mary Heilmann
• Contemporary Arts Museum Houston
Sam Taylor-Wood [through oct 5]
Part of the British art movement that propelled artists like Damien
Hirst and Tracey Emin, Taylor-Wood has since become renowned
for manipulating photography, flm, and video into compelling
psychological portraits. A selection of 29 works from the mid-
1990s to the present is included. Among them are photographs
of David Beckham asleep and Self Portrait Suspended, in which
the artist appears weightless in mid air.
• Massachusetts MoCA
Jenny Holzer [through nov 16]
Last chance to see the artist’s PROJECTIONS, a hypnotic interior
light projection that flls up its massive gallery space. Holzer’s
recent paintings, of formerly classifed government documents,
are in an adjoining gallery. [Also look for her show PROTECT
PROTECT at MCA Chicago beginning on October 28.]
• The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum
Elizabeth Peyton [through nov 16]
A comprehensive exhibition of almost 50 photographs taken
between 1994 and 2008, including portraits of friends and
colleagues in the creative domain. [See also New Museum]
“Video A” [through dec 7]
Two video projects that map landscape from radical perspectives.
In Jumping Nauman..., Miguel Soares uses Google Earth to
“visit” all ffty-one places that artist Bruce Nauman exhibited his
work in 2006. Letha Wilson’s 16 Possibilities for an 8 Minute Car
Drive (Shelburne, Nova Scotia), meanwhile, depicts precisely what
it’s title suggests.
• Atlanta Contemporary Art Center
Paul Shambroom [oct 3 – nov 30]
“Picture Power”, a mid-career survey of this Minneapolis-based
artist, examines his photographic work. Included is a series that
looks at the democratic process through the lens of city council
meetings. Nuclear and homeland security training sites are
also explored.
• Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit
“Broadcast” & “Becoming”
[september 12 – december 21]
“Broadcast” explores ways in which artists since the late 1960s have
engaged, critiqued, and inserted themselves into offcial channels
of broadcast television and radio. “Becoming”, a collection of
photographic works from the Wedge Collection, explores themes
of black identity by artists from Canada, the United States, and
throughout the African Diaspora. It offers a look at the evolving
politics of representation and features historical as well as
contemporary responses to the quesiton of identity.
• Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis
Lutz Bacher & Aïda Ruilova
[sept 12 – Jan 4, 2009]
A site-specifc, multi-channel video installation compliment other
works from Lutz Bacher’s forty-year career. Also showing are
Aïda Ruilova’s video works, which include horror flm aesthetics
and a jarring low-tech technique mixed with strong connections
to experimental music.
• Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago
Jeff koons [through sept 21]
This survey features the artist’s most iconic sculptures, including
many works from the museum’s collection. Works from his
time in Chicago during the 1970s are also included in a separate
exhibition, Everything’s Here [through Oct 26], which also features
artists who infuenced him.
• The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth
kara Walker [through oct 19]
The frst full-scale American museum survey of the work of
Kara Walker includes her signature cut-paper silhouettes, flm
animations, and over 100 works on paper. Her compositions play
off stereotypes and grotesquely deconstruct plantation life in
the antebellum American South to create a subverted vision of
the past.
• kemper Museum of Contemporary Art
Damien Hirst [through dec 5]
Exhibition of the museum’s holding of Hirst work, including The
Last Supper (1999) series.
• Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego
“Memory is your Image of Perfection”
[through november 30]
This exhibition calls attention to subjectivity of memory and how
it allows individuals to create their own realities. The women
artists featured in the show, motivated by a feminist disregard
for established models, use the ambiguity of the photographic
medium as expression of an individual viewport. Includes works
by Eleanor Antin, Uta Barth, Andrea Bowers, Suzanne Lacy,
Sharon Lockhart, Ana Machado, Yvonne Venegas, and others.
Up front: Art eVents 31
(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
david klein Gallery.
up front
It’s not uncommon to see empty lots and
blank spaces in post-Katrina New Orleans.
Since the hurricane ravaged the city in
August 2005, much of the reporting from the
city has been related to the recovery effort,
with gloomy descriptions of the problems
and struggles that the local population has
faced. Art, especially contemporary visual
art, is not something the national and
international public associate with the “City
that Care Forgot”.
But this will soon be changing. In
November, 81 artists from more than 30
countries will descend
upon the Crescent City to
participate in Prospect.1
New Orleans, the larg-
est international contem-
porary art biennial ever
organized in the United
States. The emptiness still
felt from a three-year-old
wound will be flled with
vibrant, creative, and authentic contem-
porary art, sure to dazzle locals, national,
and international visitors alike. The event’s
planners estimate more than 100,000 people
will attend Prospect.1 New Orleans
in its inaugural run.
“The destruction in New
Orleans was of a pretty massive
scale,” said Dan Cameron, the
Founding Director and Chief
Curator of Prospect.1 New Orleans.
“Since I love New Orleans and
really did want to be part of the
recovery, I thought I had to come
up with something really big.”
The idea came to Cameron
while meeting with local artists
in early 2006.
Since then, the
project has grown to a
massive scale. Prospect.1
New Orleans will last 11
weeks, November 1, 2008,
through January 18, 2009.
The planners predict the
use of at least 100,000
square feet of exhibition
space, which will incorporate several
neighborhoods and utilize existing galleries
and showrooms. Participating museums
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
the United States. The event invites artists,
art buyers, critics, collectors and enthusiasts
to take part in this historic event, which
will showcase the best of contemporary art.
Cameron describes the participating artists
as “the cream of the crop of contemporary
art from all over the world.”
– Stephanie Kaston
For more details, visit
Three years After
katrina, New
Orleans Hosts the
Largest Biennial of
International Art in
US History.
Prospect.1 New Orleans
Art 20 New york City
[nov 7 - 10]
This art fair includes a signifcant 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 beneft
Planned Parenthood.
This year, the Sculpture Objects & Function-
al Art exposition celebrates its ffteenth an-
niversary. SOFA Chicago debuted fourteen
years ago at the city’s Sheraton Hotel and
Towers, with 58 exhibitors and 14,000 people
attending. In 1995, it moved to Festival Hall
at Chicago’s historic Navy Pier, where it re-
mains today. Since then, this pioneering fair
has grown steadily in its number of exhibi-
tors, averaging approximately 100 galleries
and dealers in recent years. Attendance has
more than doubled. A record 35,000 people
attended SOFA CHICAGO last year, and
the fair was marked by brisk sales.
Dealers from over 13 countries, in-
cluding England, Ireland, Italy, France,
Denmark, Finland,
China, Korea and
Australia, join Amer-
ican blue-chip galler-
ies to present dazzling
contemporary glass
art. The latest work
from established art-
ists like Lino Taglia-
pietra, Dale Chihuly,
Ruth Duckworth
and William Hunter
are complimented by emerging artists. All
of this draws large swaths of art advi-
sors and collectors to this event. Mark
Lyman, founder/director of SOFA CHI-
CAGO and its sister show in New York,
says that “More than ever, the sophis-
ticated art community considers SOFA
a vibrant and integral part of Chicago’s
respected heritage of contemporary
decorative arts and design.”
The fair will also host special
exhibitions and a lecture series. The
Association of Israel’s Decorative Arts
(AIDA), which last year organized the hugely
popular Offering Reconciliation exhibit, will
again present this year. Another special
exhibition will be devoted to the compelling,
surreal glass art of Venetian artist Lucio
Bubacco. A master of the historic “lume”
glass technique, he draws from Greek,
Roman, and Byzantine classic art, as well
as medieval and renaissance theater and La
Commedia dell’Arte, for inspiration. The
SALON SOFA lecture series will feature top
museum curators, professional art advisors,
artists, collectors, interior designers, critics
and art market journalists who will share
their professional and personal experiences
in the feld.
A special preview gala will be held on the
evening of November 6. For more details, visit
32 A|c|A sept/oct 2008
(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
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.
up front
SOFA Chicago
[nov 7-9]
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
sculptural expressions in bronze and stainless steel













feAtUred eXhiBitions 37
49 Reena Saini Kallat at Walsh
49 Steve Hansen at Function+Art
50 John Trevino at District Fine Arts
50 Nancy Scheinman at Heineman Myers

51 Ted Fullerton at Foster/White
51 “A Matter of Memory” at McLeod Residence
52 “Dialog: Denver” at Robischon
52 Jules Feiffer at Michel Mosko
53 “Assemblage and Recyclates” at Translations
54 “Genus elephas” at Premier
54 “Party Party...” at Form+Content
55 Paul Shapiro at Zane Bennett
55 Hector Ruiz & David Kessler at Bentley
56 Todd Schroeder & Patrick Kelly at 2CarGarage
56 John LaHuis & Daniel Florida at Naomi Silva
56 A group show at Mason Murer
57 James Rosati at Jerald Melberg
38 Polly Apfelbaum at Locks
38 Jacob Lunderby & Time Tate at Pentimenti
39 Sica & Moe Brooker at Sande Webster
39 Matthias Pliessnig at Wexler
40 “WYSIWYG” at Jenny Jaskey
41 Alexis Serio at Bridgette Mayer
41 Donald Graham & Paul Cava at Gallery 339
42 Robert & Shana ParkeHarrison at Jack Shainman
42 Romare Bearden at DC Moore
43 Alexey Kallima & Jennifer Steinkamp at
Lehmann Maupin
43 Shigeru Oyatani at Kim Foster
44 Iran Do Espírito Santo at Sean Kelly
44 Jane Hammond at Galerie Lelong
45 Max Jansons & Elizabeth Tremante at
Christopher Grimes
45 “Ultrasonic International III” at Mark Moore
46 John Jurayj & Maria E. Piñeres at Walter Maciel
46 Julian Hoeber at Blum & Poe
47 Jody Zellen & “VF” at Fringe
47 Abel Auer, Armin Krämer, & Dorota Jurczak at
Michael Benevento
48 Roy Thurston & Anna Valentina Murch
at Brian Gross
48 Emilio Lobato, Gwen Manfrin & Wynne Hayakawa
at Andrea Schwartz
Compiled by Jill Ryeth, khalil khoury, and Rachel Mann.
Look for expanded coverage of new orleans and miami in our next issue.
38 A|c|A sept/oct 2008
(top left) polly Apfelbaum, installation Cartoon Garden, 2005. (center left) Apfelbaum,
Orange Crush, 2007, synthetic fabric and dye, 158" x 126". (center right) Apfelbaum,
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".
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.
Polly Apfelbaum’s highly
intricate fabric installations –
works she describes as “fallen
paintings” – burst with color
and transcend their diverse
antecedents. Comprised of
hundreds of individual dyed
fabric pieces, Apfelbaum’s
installations reference modern
art history, including poured
works of the 1950s. With
their vibrant, saturated colors,
Apfelbaum’s works explore

boundaries between the nature of craft and
the Pop design aesthetic. “Monochromes
2003-07” continues in this tradition. It brings
together 4 large-scale foor works that have
not been previously exhibited together, each
of which presents a variation on fower
imagery. Limited to a single color with the
fowers outlined in black, these fower power
works line the gallery wall’s perimeter and
envelope the viewer like a cartoon garden
brought to life. In addition, a series of the
artist’s 20 x 24 inch Polaroid images of her
fowers are on display.
Polly Apfelbaum
Locks [sept 2-30]
Alexis Serio
Bridgette Mayer [sept 2-27]
feAtUred eXhiBitions 39
(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".
David Graham & Paul Cava
Gallery 339 [sept 19 – nov 8]
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 ft nicely into
trucks but have little to do with the inherent
properties of the tree.” In his frst solo show,
Pliessniq demonstrates the potential of
wood by shaping it in ways that foreground
its underlying properties.
Matthias Pliessnig
Wexler [sept 5 – nov 1]
For over thirty years, David Graham has
traveled the United States, fnding 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
literally and fguratively running out of gas.
“Heart of the Matter” features a
selection of Paul Cava’s sensual, intricately-
layered compositions that incorporate
original photography, found imagery,
painting, and drawing. The way that Cava
assembles images is akin to constructing
verse or music. Working with a discrete,
carefully selected vocabulary, he layers,
inverts, and otherwise alters this collection
of visual metaphors to open a universe of
new possibilities. Within each of these, he
fuidly balances the tension
between sumptuous roman-
ticism and a fragmented,
contemporary ambiguity.
Yet, while complex and
meticulously constructed,
they seem remarkably
natural and honest, as if
they must have always
existed. They are like sad,
beautiful melodies that we
know we have not heard,
yet seem strangely familiar.
40 A|c|A sept/oct 2008
(top center) moe Brooker, I Come to Dance My Joy #3, mixed media on panel, 24" x 24".
(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".
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”.
Sica’s oeuvre stretches over the past half
century and, for forty of those years, she
has been exhibiting at the Sande Webster
Gallery. Her extensive world travels have
been the most formative infuence on her
work. These experiences are the under-
pinning of her exhibition, “Around the
World in 30 Works”. The people, daily life,
music, and theater of each place she en-
counters inspire her life. In turn, personal
observation of diverse cultures, ancient and
contemporary, reveal itself in her art. Sica
also has a deep reverence for the ritual of
creating art every day. She fnds freedom
in repetition and continually discovers new
forms within her established process. She
creates prints, paper constructions, paint-
ings, metal sculptures, and ceramics. The
works on paper often utilize metallic surfac-
es allowing for inventive textures. Unique
surfaces are achieved by a combination of
relief, inking, and collage. [sept 2-30]
Moe Brooker’s “I Come To Dance
My Joy” features new paintings
that are vibrant, exhilarating, and
joyful. He paints with an established
abstract vocabulary while pushing
his surfaces to new heights. Using
acrylic, encaustic and oil pastels,
Brooker creates color harmonies
that are embedded with a sense of
time and space. The heavily layered
pigments overlap and create a
unique experience of space flled
with movement and light. There
is also a musical quality to his
paintings that combine composition
and improvisation. The resulting
images range from quietly soulful to
exuberantly passionate. Brooker’s
work demonstrates his optimistic
outlook on life. Such joie de vivre
emanates from his paintings.
[oct 4 – nov 4]
Jacob Lunderby & Tim Tate
Pentimenti Gallery [sept 5 – oct 18]
Sica & Moe Brooker
Sande Webster
feAtUred eXhiBitions 41
(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".
What you see is what you get. This group
exhibition, organized by Christopher Y.
Lew of P.S.1 Contemporary, examines
abstract photography made through an
inderdisciplinary approach. The six artists
included in the show create work that is as
informed by other media, such as sculpture
and science, as they are by photography.
Avoiding pure abstraction, the exhibited
works are often “dirtied” by other practices
and disciplinary, making the everyday into
something abstract.
James Hyde defes the fatness of photo-
graphic prints by making use of sculptural
and painterly strategies. Hyde applies paint
and attaches objects to photographs of
scaffolding and other architectural forms,
highlighting the rhythmic and musical
qualities of the composition. Seemingly
improvisatory, the aural and visual combine
and recombine to synesthetic affect.
Summer Kemick’s installation of snapshot-
sized prints made in her native Hawaii forms
a cloud of vibrant color and textures. The
arrangement of successive images suggests
the drama of a narrative arc without any
explicit meaning, stemming from a place of
memory and ebullience.
An artist who mainly works in sculpture
and installation, Sungmi Lee has recently
been taking pictures from her studio
window. Rather than document urban
space, her images capture the atmosphere
and shadow play of New York’s gray winters.
Spumes of steam merge with the overcast
sky to produce near monochromes and road
markings form striated drawings. Avery
McCarthy presents a series of black-and-
white contact prints called The Theory of
Everything. Lifting scientifc imagery from
various online sources, McCarthy uses a
systemic approach that fnds equivalence
among atoms, neurons, viruses, cosmic
bodies, and mathematical models.
Colin Montgomery’s photograph
made specifcally for the exhibition creates
a network of foam and spray taken from
images of a boat’s wake. Almost sculptural
in form, the large-scale print alludes to both
the microscopic and the cosmic. This broad
vision is ftting for an age in which seemingly
benign travel can have global climatic
impact. Paul Salveson’s black-and-white
photographs are informed by DIY ‘zines and
role playing games. Salveson’s prints were
made with the intention of being cheaply
reproducible via desktop laser printers or
photocopying machines where mid-tones
are often abandoned for the high contrast
grit of true black and white.
Jenny Jaskey [sept 9 – oct 18]
42 A|c|A sept/oct 2008
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)
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.
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 fxed 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
alongside a long-tusked elephant, the image
reads as tender, idyllic, and completely
plausible. In Cabrito, the oddity of an
anthropomorphized goat practicing archery
in the mountains among sheep is offset by
a sense of familiarity with the scenery and
the harmony of the photograph’s formal
elements. Also on view will be large
“snapshot” works in which Hammond has
collected vernacular portraits and inserted
herself into each one, presenting the viewer
with a panoramic album containing an array
of identities.
In their frst exhibition in New York in
years, Robert and Shana ParkeHarrison
examine the contested legacy of science and
technology as a vehicle for progress. Entitled
“Counterpoint”, this work represents a new
aesthetic for the artists, with the tightly closed
narrative discarded in favor of abstraction
and visual improvisation. Eschewing any
type of resolution, and feeding ambiguity
at every point, they provide
insight into the failure of
technology to fx 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 intensifed by human
meddling. In contrast to their earlier staged
photographic works, in this new work, the
ParkeHarrisons use proportion and space
that are more compositional than natural.
They also blur movement and allow objects
and persons to be juxtaposed in a kind of
unfolding choreography. As a result, the
visceral sensation of the work is heightened
to a new level.
Jane Hammond
Galerie Lelong [sept 4 – oct 11]
Robert and Shana ParkeHarrison
Jack Shainman [oct 10 – nov 8]
[Hammond’s work is also being exhibited at
the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver
and will be on display at the Detroit Institute
of Arts beginning on Oct 1.]
feAtUred eXhiBitions 43
(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)
Alexey kallima, to be titled, 2008, coal and sanguine on paper, 8.27" x 11.42".
After twice being com-
missioned in recent years
to create high-profle mu-
seum installations (frst for
the Denver Art Museum’s
Libeskind-designed build-
ing, then for the Getty Mu-
seum’s Meier-deigned build-
ing), Jennifer Steinkamp
presents a new series in
New York. Entitled “Dai-
sy Bell”, the installation
explores the relationship
between human creation
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 fowers that
appear to cascade down the gallery walls.
Much like Bell Labs earlier experiment,
Steinkamp links her artwork to the use of
human innovation to recreate nature.
[Bowery Location, 201 Chrystie]
In his frst solo gallery exhibition in New
York, Alexey Kallima will present new work,
including a site specifc installation. A refu-
gee from Grozny, Chechnya, Kallima fed to
Moscow shortly after the Russian invasion
in 1994. The turmoil of this experience is
refected (often directly) in his political-
charged paintings and installations. Among
the included work are a series of new, large
scale paintings. Although his work often
uses an expressive language, he nonetheless
references historical paintings. In such work,
he probes the ongoing Russia/Chechen con-
fict and his own personal experiences as
a refugee. A series entitled Chechnya’s
Women’s Team of Parachute Jumping and
Its Virtual Fans recalls the segregated teams
that Kallima remembers from childhood.
Even so, Kallima imagines an utopian world
in his work, one in which ethnicity is not an
all-encompassing reality. For his installa-
tion, Kallima will plaster the walls with polit-
ical imagery from magazine and newspaper
articles. [Chelsea location, 540 W 26th]
In “Deposition,” Brazilian
artist Iran do Espírito Santo’s
new work is divided into two
sections. En Passant, a site-
specifc painting, includes
simulated modulations of light
on walls, depicted in various
gradations of the color gray.
As in past work, Espírito
Santo succeeds in transforming
the architectural space in
which he works. The wall
painting becomes a precise
depiction of a photographic
gray scale that combines natural
light and a representation of
pictorial light, creating a conceptual
interplay between the two. The
second part of the exhibition
includes two large granite sculptures,
Desposition 1 and Desposition 2.
Both are over-sized framed pictures
in which the frame and the image
are created from the same material.
In blurring the line between the
two, Espírito Santo has produced
monumental sculpture that reference
both functionality and design inside the
tradition of Minimalism. Perception
remains key to both works as he
constantly deconstructs the experience
of viewer.
Iran Do Espírito Santo
Sean kelly [sept 5 – oct 18]
Alexey kallima & Jennifer Steinkamp
Lehmann Maupin [sept 4 – oct 18]
44 A|c|A sept/oct 2008
(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".
dc moore Gallery, new York. (bottom right) romare Bearden, Narrow Sky Line, watercolor,
13.5" x 9.13". dc moore Gallery, new York.
New York City is the star of twenty works by
Romare Bearden (d. 1988). Entitled “City
Lights”, the exhibition features expressive
watercolors, some with paper collage, that
capture the energy of the city. The highly
charged compositions were painted between
1979 and 1986, including several of which
were done for the opening credits of Gloria,
John Cassavettes’ 1980 flm. Bearden lived
most of his life in New York, growing up in
Harlem during its Renaissance and returning
to the city after service in World War II and
study in Paris. Known best for his collages
of African American life, his New York
paintings refect 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
low hanging moon in New York, New York.
In others, the skyline and its multitude of
densely packed buildings contrast with lively
street scenes flled with people. Untitled
(Woman Leaning on a Chair), conversely,
regulates the city to the role of backdrop for
the nude in front of a window. Ultimately,
while invoking a past era in which New York
was a much different place, these works
demonstrate the timelessness of the city as
character. [Evening Light, a group exhibition,
will run concurrently.]
Raised in Japan but having
resided in New York for
several years, Shigeru
Oyatani creates hybrid works
that bridge traditions Each
and West. From selection of
color, composition, and form
to the subjects he chooses,
his works blend the visual
vocabularies of disparate
cultures. This new exhibition,
“Third Plane”, includes
paintings that refect this in
their complex visual layering.
Excavation is required to
work through the accumulations of thin
layers of oil paint. In many of these works,
Oyatani carefully marks the surfaces with
small strokes of imagery in bright hues,
often against dark monochromatic expanses
of architectural details. Representations of
the natural as well as the constructed world
collide until the viewer is able to reconcile
the two by focusing on the details. Oyatani’s
work combines elements of abstraction
and representation, pattern and grid, and
surface and illusion. Upon close inspection,
several layers begin to emerge, creating a
space in which dimensions collapse into
alternative realities.
Shigeru Oyatani
kim Foster [sept 4 – oct 4]
Roman Bearden
DC Moore [sept 4 – 27]
feAtUred eXhiBitions 45
(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,
and collage on paper, 59.1" x 78.7".
Battling against the barrage of high-speed media
in our culture, Max Jansons seeks to create a
“slow and intimate experience”, bolstered by
vintage techniques and classical ingredients. In
this sense, he resembles a chef advocating slow-
food in a world dominated by processed, fast
food. But if Alice Waters can do it and succeed,
so can he. Janson uses nature and antiquated
objects as subjects and constructs his paintings
with linen primed in lead, paint ground in aged
oil, and pigments whose sources are extinct.
By creating work inspired by daily life, he
has aligned himself with historical American
painters. Janson likes to “blur the distinction
between the abstract and material world.” He
also considers himself a painter of things.
“I paint to experience the pleasure of seeing
and the pleasure of painting these things,” he
says. “The exchange that exists within the work
between the old and the new acts as a metaphor
for the project and process of painting.”
Although Elizabeth Tremante falls within the
landscape painting traditions of observation
drawings and studies of the natural world, she
challenges the emphasis on panorama. Instead,
she seeks to exploit abstractions of space, form,
and color. In doing so, her work captures an
intimate, active, and assertive depiction of
the landscape – a stark contrast to the passive
illustration typically associated with the
In this third installment of the gallery’s
annual Ultrasonic International show, the
theme is “back to basics” and it’s refected
in the title, “Elementary, My Dear Watson”.
Explorations of the self dominate the work of
the sixteen chosen artists. Their art creations
are investigations of individual obsessions and
personal refection. Featured are Anders Bojen
& Kristoffer Orum, Brian Bosworth, Walpa
D’Mark, Damien Deroubaix, Per Enoksson,
Brian Getnick, Christine Gray, Philip Gurrey,
Lia Halloran, Peter Lamb, Olivier Millagou,
Jered Sprecher, Villeroy & Boch, and
Matt Wardell.
“Ultrasonic International III”
Mark Moore [sept 6 – oct 25]
Max Janson & Elizabeth Tremante
Christopher Grimes [sept 5 – oct 11]
46 A|c|A sept/oct 2008
(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,
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".
Patriarchy and its failures inhabit the space
of John Jurayj’s show “Untitled (We Could
Be Heroes)”. Jurayj continues to explore
beauty and destruction within the same
pictorial frame, employing imagery from the
ongoing Lebanese confict. Remembrance
of traumas past are a dominant thread of his
work, causing it to transcend generational and
cultural boundaries. This show introduces a
major new work, 15 Untitled Men, a series
of gunpowder images that depict key power
players of the Lebanese Civil War, including
Yasser Arafat, Menachem Begin, Hafez al-
Assad and Pierre Gemayel. Scaled to the size
of an embassy portrait, these “negative ghost
images” – screened on mirrored stainless
steel – posit a compressed Oedipal space of
father, son and viewer. Violence is inscribed
throughout on multiple levels of time, form,
and image. It is represented as both a past
event (the burning of the eyes on the initial
digital images) and an ever-present future
possibility (the potential explosiveness of
the gunpowder surface).
Opposite these images are a group of
new paintings on colored mirrored plexiglas.
Abstractions are mixed with scenes of
destroyed buildings and night bombings. In
fact, the introduction of mirrored plexiglas as
“canvas” into the more traditional painting
space implicates the viewer into historical
event. The installation as a whole quite
literally explodes and collapses the platonic
integrity of any one individual painting.
Each work is in a continuous alteration by
the viewer, the gallery, and the refection
of the other paintings. This heterogeneous
approach suits a splintering, fragmented
trail that meanders from the personal to the
social and back.
Libertango, a solo show of new work by
Maria E. Pineres, takes on sexually charged
themes by referencing a song of the same
name by Grace Jones, in which a mysterious
man lurks around at night in 1970s Paris.
Continuing her traditional use of needlepoint
as her medium, Piñeres explores color,
pattern, and disposition of a single subject,
a typical gay pin-up boy from that era. The
nude portrait is presented in contrasting
colors within complex backdrops, perhaps
as a metaphor for the different experiences
by the urban dweller in the song. Vibrant
colors are used in a formulated format to
compare and contrast the different poses of
the subject. The works also draw reference
to the commercial aspects of repeated
imagery so central to Pop Art. Ultimately,
Piñeres both reclaims the traditional use of
needlepoint as an craft and presents a new
format that allows for a dialogue within the
context of contemporary art.
John Jurayj & Maria E. Piñeres
Walter Maciel [sept 6 – oct 25]
Julian Hoeber
Blum & Poe [sept 6 – oct 18]
This exhibition of new work, "All That is Solid
Melts into Air", includes the Los Angeles-
based artist's Op Art works on paper, as well
as a series of bronze sculptures. This is his
third solo show at Blue & Poe.
cropped by publisher.
see full image at
Jody Zellen
Fringe [sept 6 – oct 4]
“The Blackest Spot”, an interactive
installation by Jody Zellen, uses Elias
Canetti’s Crowds and Power as its point
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 foor of the space, they will be
able to choreograph their own experience.
Alternating between contemplative quiet
and a cacophony of cheers, the many facets
of public gatherings will be explored. Lewis
Keller, an L.A. Based artist who combines
technology with simple structures, assisted
Zellen by programming the electronics for
this project.
feAtUred eXhiBitions 47
(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,
27.5" x 19.7".
Both Abel Auer and Armin Krämer use fg-
ures as well as landscapes infuenced by a
combination of Central European iconogra-
phy and the vivid color schemes of the late-
1980s and early-1990s skater culture. In both
their takes on landscape painting, a saturat-
ed palette brings to life rural and historical
settings. These works owe little to traditional
modes of representation and ignore the ba-
sic laws of perspective. Jurczak’s fantastical
and nightmarish works merge infuences
from folklore and mythology, with inventions
of her own imagination. Her etchings, often
with an aged patina, belie their contemporary
origins, while her fgures are predominantly
indebted to Eastern European iconography
and its rich tradition of Post-War illustration.
In Jurczak’s menacing, imaginary scatologi-
cal world, the cast of characters is comprised
of anthropomorphized birds and spiders,
along with bizarre human fgures. Placed
in both traumatic and humorous scenar-
ios, these inhabitants reveal the nuances
of life’s pleasures and pains. The overall
effect resembles the playful world of
children’s book illustrations, where botani-
cal and architectural anachronisms co-exist
in harmony.
Abel Auer, Armin krämer, and Dorota Jurczak
Michael Benevento [sept 12 – oct 22]
[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.]
48 A|c|A sept/oct 2008
(top center) Gwen manfrin, There are Demons in These Days, 2008. (middle left) roy thurston,
2007-2, 2007, 17.25" x 6.06" x 1.5". (lower right) Anna Valentina murch, Dissolving (0867), 2008,
40" x 25.7".
Emilio Lobato’s solo exhibition, “Tomando
Medida” (Taking Measure), refers not
only to the process of producing geometric
forms, but also to the constant self refection
so integral to the creative act. Lobato’s
work has been inspired by both his rural
upbringing and current urban existence.
The combination of growing up on a family
farm in Colorado and secluding himself
daily in his studio have helped him realize
how stark surroundings enable him to focus
on the power of imagination and creation.
[sept 3 – oct 3]
A two-person show in October combines
recent work by Gwen Manfrin and Wynne
Hayakawa. Manfrin’s portraits offer a
chance encounter with the intimacy of the
individual at any moment in time. The poses
are often uncomfortably confrontational,
refecting the teenage angst experienced by
many young girls. Hayakawa works from
landscape, sketching and painting on paper.
She nears complete abstraction in her large
oil paintings, which maintain references to
the light, colors, and forms of the outdoors.
[oct 7 – nov 7]
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,
an extremely labor-intensive process.
The ultimate result are sculptures with a
purity that lends itself to contemplation by
the viewer.
As an environmental artist, Anna
Valentina Murch considers the constant
fux, fragility, and beauty of the natural en-
vironment through images created by light
refecting on water. Mostly known for her
large-scale, public installation, she often
works collaboratively with architects, en-
gineers, and other artists. In such works,
she draws inspiration from the history
and landscape surrounding the space of
the installation and uses this to create an
experience that incorporates light, water,
and sound. In Dissolving, the Bay Area
artist exhibits photographic prints that ex-
plore the ways in which environments are
rendered when refected in water. Images
of plant life are shown disappearing,
dissolving in the water. Her photographic
investigations ask questions about the
fragility of an organic world in which
ice caps are melting and environmental
changes threaten us all.
Roy Thurston and Anna Valentina Murch
Brian Gross [sept 4 – nov 1]
Emilio Lobato III
Andrea Schwartz Gwen Manfrin and Wynne Hayakawa
FLATFILE [sept 5 – oct 24]
Not in my back yard! This familiar refrain
of aggrieved suburbanites takes on new
meaning in Ryan Zoghlin’s NIMBY, a series
of photographs that explore homes located
near large industrial elements. A sense of
foreboding looms over the large images,
but a sense of humor breaks the tension.
The contrast between rustic dwelling and
the behemoth of industry reinforces both
elements. In addition to Zoghlin’s work,
“INDUSTRIA” will also feature a series
entitled, Energy, by Dimitre. These works
were created as part of a project for Exelon,
a Chicago energy company. A sculpture by
Terrence Karpowicz rounds out the show.
Composed of actual industrial items, the
sculptures evoke the essence of industry.
Karpowicz emphasizes the “tension at
the point of contact between disparate
materials.” Such tensions are present
throughout this exhibition. [Two video works
by localstyle, Fluid Mechanics Remix and
Prick, will also be displayed.]
feAtUred eXhiBitions 49
(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.
Steve Hansen
Function+Art [sept 5 – oct 16]
In his new show, ceramist Steve Hansen
transitions his theme from the selling of
goods to the selling of ideological “truths”.
He approaches Propaganda, the name
of this new series and also its underlying
concern, as if it were any other mythology,
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
the desired benefciary of popular support
in these campaigns. Similarities not only
exist between countries but also between
state propaganda and what some might
consider its capitalist successor, advertising.
Hansen’s God of Commerce is also included
in this exhibition, providing the viewer with
an unique opportunity for comparison and
analysis between the commidifcation of
state versus that of consumer goods. Much
like Andy Warhol’s marketable images
of Mao, which Hansen references as an
antecedent, these series demonstrate the
irony of competing ideologies within the
same art object.
Reena Saini kallat
Walsh [sept 5 – oct 11]
This solo show is the frst in the U.S. for
the Mumbai-based artist. Reena Saini
Kallat’s works, all of which were created this
year, confront the vulnerability of human
existence. Synonym, a series of sculptural
paintings, is composed of several hundred
stamps with the names of people on them.
While a close view reveals the lettered
components, from afar the parts coalesce to
form portraits. The stamps themselves have
further signifcance, though, as upon them
are names of missing persons, rendered in
over twelve languages that represent the
diversity of India. Not only does Kallat
explore those lost or hidden in Indian
society, she also looks at an external anxiety:
the fragile and at times tense relationship
between India and Pakistan. White Heat is
a sculpture of an over-sized iron placed on
a seemingly dysfunctional ironing board,
while the iron itself is packed with weapon-
like projections. The fabric waiting to be
ironed is embroidered with the names of
those who signed a petition of peace between
the two countries along with multiple
maps of disputed territories between the
nations. Kallat’s work reveals much about
the national psyche, in a society struggling
with diverse identities and the potential for
confict both internal and external.
50 A|c|A sept/oct 2008
(Left side from top) nancy scheinman: Unzip the Sky – Morning Light, Vermillion Clothes of Brocade
Leaves, Hem of Sky Undone. (right) John trevino, Bill, 2008, pigment print.
The narrative paintings of
Nancy Scheinman incorpo-
rate a fascinating array of
techniques, drawing from
the ancient and modern,
Eastern and Western. She
also uses a wide variety of
materials, such as hand-em-
bossed and patented copper,
antique tin, paper, bronze
wire cloth, ceramic, canvas
and gold leaf on wood panel.
Scheinman’s exquisite col-
lages resemble tapestries
for their many rich textures,
lustrous natural colors, and
narrative qualities. “My
work deals with the basic
universal questions and feel-
ings we all have about life,”
she says.
[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 fnalists,
among them Maggie Michael
(see page 82) The exhibition
runs Sept 3-27.]
“What Comes Next”, a new series of
photographs by artist John Trevino, examines
dreams and memory created as the residual of
human interaction. His images build on this
theme by documenting his friends, colleagues,
and acquaintances wearing water polo caps
customized by the artist. Worn on players’
heads during water polo matches, caps take
the place of jerseys in other team sports. As a
form, they represent striking juxtapositions in
design, part helmet, part cartoon. This “tough
sensitivity” also characterizes much of the sport
itself, which can be quite brutal, yet at times
exhibits the gracefulness of a ballet. Taken out
of this context, Trevino transforms the caps
and the wearers into a strange and mysterious
collective force or team on the verge of some
kind of unknown action. Captured against
environments Trevino frequents around the
city as part of his routine, the work becomes
a meditation on those locations and the people
in his life.
Nancy Scheinman
Heineman Myers [oct 4 – nov 8]
John Trevino
District Fine Arts [sept 6 – nov 8]
[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.]
feAtUred eXhiBitions 51
(top left) ted fullerton, Existence, Essense, 2008, oil on canvas, 60" x 48".
(bottom right) Allison kudla, Plant matter, detail, 2008.
In his new exhibition, “Godot Will Not Be
Coming Today”, Ted Fullerton seeks to
reach the boundaries of fgural creation
through painting and sculpture. This body
of work, conceptually based on Samuel
Beckett’s existentialist play Waiting For
Godot, includes drawings that incite
existentialist discourse. Fullerton sees
existentialism as fundamentally humanist
and uses this conception to propel his
investigation of the fgural and symbolic.
Says Fullerton, “my imagery is symbolic and
metaphoric by nature, usually associated
to or interpreted with myth that alludes
to ‘dualism’ – or the personifcation of the
force of nature as well as human nature –
and this conceptual ideology addresses the
notion of the reconciliation of opposites.
The idea of ‘distinctiveness’ has also evolved
within my work, allowing consideration for
the breadth of existentialist positions.” His
exploration of diverse media demonstrates
just how compelling the human fgure can be.
Religious and mythical overtones coupled
with Fullerton’s expressionistic brush strokes
raise his fgures into an ethereal realm.
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,
and photography puts him frmly towards
one end. Included in this exhibition are
short flms that he shot on a digital pocket
camera. Zverina carries his camera
wherever he goes and shoots flms daily,
ranging from one to 30 seconds in length.
He then selects the best clips, annotates
them with descriptive keywords and logs the
date, location, and subject of each micro-
documentary in a process he’s dubbed
“autobioanthropolography”, a combination
of autobiography and anthropology. His
hope is that these vignettes combined with
objective data will provide a useful glimpse at
a subjective history of the early 21st century.
In an adjacent parlor, Zverina will exhibit
photographic prints and various artifacts.
Allison Kudla will create an installation
that will evolve over time. Decorative Growth
Pattern is made of living plant matter that
takes on the form of a man-made decorative
pattern and explores a territory where
human constructions are present in the
genetic formations of living systems. Leaves
are shaped by a digital image and suspended
in square-tiled petri dishes that contain
necessary nutrients to keep the plants alive.
Viewers will witness subtle changes in color
and texture over the duration of the exhibit.
“A Matter of Memory”
McLeod Residence [through sept 27]
Ted Fullerton
Foster/White [sept 3-19]
Presented in association with “Dialog: City
– An Event Converging Art, Democracy
and Digital Media,” this group exhibition
of over 25 artists serves as a response to
the Democratic National Convention. The
diverse show focuses on various aspects
of our experience. Harking back to past
eras but also aiming at the present, Ann
Hamilton’s spinning two-bell sousaphone
plays a continuous recording of old,
distorted military marches. Conversely,
Daniel Peltz grounds his work in the media
of today by investigating the global impact of
political connections in the age of cell-phone
technology. His video project is constructed
with a dedicated group of Japanese Barack
Obama supporters who happen to reside in
a city that shares a name with the candidate:
Obama, Japan. Taking on the the language
of politics more directly, Luke Dubois’
Hindsight is Always 20/20 utilizes an eye-
chart format to explore the linguistics of
the presidency in American history. Words
from State of the Union addresses appear
arranged in descending order from the most
frequently used to the least. Not surprisingly,
“terror” dominates those of George W.
Bush. Other highlights include DJ
Spooky’s feature video “Terra Nove:
The Antartica Suite” (shown off-
site) and Lynn Hershman Leeso’s
alter ego Synthia.
Robischon has also commis-
sioned a political placard design
invitational, in which sixteen select
Colorado artists with a history of
presenting political subjects have
been invited to each contribute a
uniquely-themed, original artwork for ex-
hibition. These placards will later be ex-
hibited at the “UnConvention” (see page
74), Minneapolis’ equivalent of “Dialog”.
Among them is Sarah McKenzie’s Katrina
Water Lines, which evokes queries and rage
about the country’s reaction to the natural
disaster of Hurricane Katrina. Other artists
address topics as far ranging as war, waste-
ful spending, the treatment of animals, and
the cultural dissonance between Americans’
perception of themselves and those percep-
tions that people hold of them elsewhere.
52 A|c|A sept/oct 2008
(top right) Ann hamilton, Sousaphone, 2004. (middle right) sarah mckenzie, Katrina Water Lines, 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".
Over forty prints, illustrations, and political
cartoons of the Pulitzer-prize winning comic
artist Jules Feiffer will be presented just in
time for the Convention. Feiffer, whose
syndicated cartoon ran for over 40 years in
the Village Voice, has also been featured in
the New Yorker, Esquire, Playboy, the Nation,
and the New York Times. These cartoons
weaved the social, political, and personal into
a challenging and often hilarious mix. This
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 frst
foray into flm, as he wrote the screenplay
for Carnal Knowledge, a flm that starred
not only Jack Nicholson but Art Garfunkle,
in addition to an Oscar-winning short,
Munro, that took a critical view of military
culture. In 1967, he received an Obie Award
for his play Little Murders. Coincidentally,
Feiffer even has a connection to Convention
politics. He was a delegate at the infamous
1968 Democratic Convention, and much of
his work comes from that explosive era. The
talent and insight behind all of these pursuits
makes itself clear in the works on display.
DIALOG: Denver
Robischon [through sept 20]
Jules Feiffer
Michele Mosko [through nov 2]
feAtUred eXhiBitions 53
(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,
recycled plastic & thread, 39.5" x 38.5".
Over the past few years, green culture
has infltrated 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
such as metal, wood, glass, and plastic to
unusual art materials, such as old maps and
Tyvek, a synthetic material created by the
DuPont Company.
All of the artists in the exhibition draw
attention to their use of recycled materials
using diverse artistic techniques and styles.
For example, L.A. artist Joseph Shuldiner
upcycles plastic grocery bags and tightly
weaves them together in his Discarded Leaves.
Leaf and fower shapes are cut out in the
plastic bag weaving, which refects Shuldiner’s
exploration of the interplay between
natural materials and human intervention
in his work. Boulder, Colorado, artist Sara
Goldenberg White stitches geometric shapes
onto recycled plastic, creating an alternative
quilt that explores color interaction and the
altering of perceived space.
The assemblages in the exhibition are
especially interesting due to the unique
qualities of the found objects. Nashville artist
Adrienne Outlaw often fnds an unusual
piece of metal that acts as a base for her
work and then adds other types of metal to
it. Discontinued (after music box) includes an
old metal box as a base that she found in her
one-hundred-year-old workplace building.
Heavy straight pins are pierced through
it and are visible through an opening.
Colorado artist Leo Franco combines found
wood and metal to create small geometric
compositions in Line Phase and Prepared
Piano: Hammer.
Through their diversity of style and
techniques, the artists have achieved their
goal of using discarded objects to create
pieces of art. In the process, they exhibit
a wonderful exploration of the creative
use of artistic materials and join into the
broader eco-friendly social movement.
– Kate Merkel
“Assemblage And Recyclates”
Translations [through sept 12]
(clockwise from top right) scott seekins, I Thought I Heard Your Voice, 2008, oil on canvas,
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".
Curated by Camille Gage and Colleen
Sheehy as part of the “UnConvention” (see
page 74), this exhibition “contemplates the
tensions between suffering and denial, grief
and self-absorption, and uncovers real losses
buried under the wreckage of a consumer
and celebrity obsessed culture”. Using the
structure of an old 45 rpm, the show has
two sides. In the “A side” of the show, three
exhibitions probe the way that media affects
our lives. Christopher Baker’s video explores
the intense self-absorption that sometimes
stems from internet life, while Philip Harder
parodies advertising in his short flm iRaq.
The image of Britney Spears – recently
having made a cameo in a John McCain ad
– is dissected in Scott Seekins series of work
about the decline of the American Empire.
Images of another sort dominate the second
half of the show. Jaron Childs’ This Republic
of Suffering features paintings of anonymous,
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 flled 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.
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.
“Genus elephas”
Premier [through sept 19]
Party Party in a Tweety Land b/w This Republic of Suffering
Form + Content [through oct 4]
54 A|c|A sept/oct 2008
feAtUred eXhiBitions 55
(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".
Mexican and Kickapoo American artist,
Hector Ruiz, presents “L’art m’emmerde
j‘ai participe a cette expo”, a continuation
of his series on miscegenation. Proposing
the mixing of races as an opportunity
to end racism and wars, he also recognize the
fear many have toward this possible change
and the effect it will have on our rituals and
identities. Ruiz comes from a bicultural
identity and grew up in a border state. As a
result, he was at the forefront of changes in
American culture; this is represented in his
work. This exhibition brings together new
works in various media, including painting,
block prints, as well as bronze and hand-
carved sculpture.
Exhibiting professionally for over 35 years,
David Kessler creates hyper-realistic
landscape paintings on aluminum that
utilize the qualities of refracted light and
its interaction with pigment. In painting on
aluminum instead of canvas, Kessler uses
wire brushes to abrade into the surface of the
aluminum, creating a fuid, refracted light.
The paint is airbrushed on in transparent
layers, which allows the burnished areas of
aluminum to act as highlights and merge
seamlessly with paint to create dazzling
images. This technique enhances the illusion
of depth and space in the work, as the
brushed aluminum highlights appear to
move when the light changes.
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]
Paul Shapiro
Zane Bennett, Santa Fe
[sept 12 – nov 8]
56 A|c|A sept/oct 2008
(clockwise from top right) todd schroeder, Kick Ass. patrick kelly, Fracture. John Lahuis, If You
Love Me, from "take me" series, mixed media on panel with resin and steel frame. Liana repass,
Untitled, pastel on paper.
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.
This current work from Todd Schroeder
explores such existential ideas as the “eternal
collapse of matter”. Instead of a world of
expanding possibilities, he sees a reality that
is caving in on itself. He uses mathematical
concepts, such as the Fibonacci sequence
and golden mean, to present these ideas.
In this show, he has also incorporated
graphic elements into his works. Yet, when
words are present, they are often rendered
backwards or upside down to appear as
objects like any other. Patrick Kelly’s work
is an “intuitive rendering of a variety of
planes and shapes” that often feature a
progression of colors. According to the
artist, his work typically “begins with a
single gesture”, which he builds upon with
instinctive brushstrokes that eventually
connect each element of a painting.
Todd Schroeder and Patrick kelly
2CarGarage, Savannah [sept 19 – oct 14]
Naomi Silva
Atlanta [sept 12 – oct 4]
New works of abstract artist John LaHuis
and new sculpture by Daniel Florida.
feAtUred eXhiBitions 57
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
aluminum, 23.5" x 59.75" x 29.5".
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
signifcance. His abstract work drew on his
experiences with the rhythms and fuidity
of music. Connecting with and enhancing
their surroundings, his large works always
ft 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 signifcant collection
on display in several years.
James Rosati
Jerald Melberg, Charlotte [sept 13 – nov 1]
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
25” diameter
African Mahagony
Represented by
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Hours: Wed. – Sat. 10:00 – 5:30
Tuscan Vineyard Glow (24x48) by Nyla Witmore
Exhibition & Sale
November 7th - 26th
First Friday Gallery Walks Original Paintings by Local & Regional Artists
In the Gallery...
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
Admission is free
oil, 36” x 38”
AUGUST 23 – NOVEMBER 2, 2008
Hunter Kirkland Contemporary
200-B Canyon Road, Santa Fe, NM 87501
phone 505.984.2111 fax 505.984.8111
45” x 24” x 6”
Photo: Addison Doty
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.
















Fenix 4corn frank 1/25/08 3:18 PM Page 1
he eyes of the nation have been
turned toward Denver lately. Not
only will the 2008 Democratic National
Convention be held here, but Colorado, in
which Denver is the capitol, has emerged as
one of a handful of key battleground states
in this year’s presidential contest. Now it
may be tempting to see these facts as being
indicative of an increasingly heightened
profle for the Mile High City (excuse the
pun). Yet, there’s a pesky bit of trivia that
would seem to undercut this tidy story: the
Democrats convened here once before, way
back in 1908, and at that time, too, Denver
was a rising star among American cities.
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
number over a hundred. But what has
been unpredictable is that most of
the today’s top contemporary galler-
ies are essentially the same ones that
were atop when the city last hit a nadir
two decades ago. This roste r of long-
standing venues includes Robischon
Gallery, Rule Modern and Contem-
porary Gallery, William Havu Gallery,
and Carson/van Straaten Gallery, all
of which were present in some form
back then.
These exhibition venues focus
on national and international artists,
but every one of them has also built
The Mile High Scene is
Peaking at the Perfect Time
by michael paglia
70 A|c|A sept/oct 2008
(top right) clark richert, A/C Kepler, acrylic on canvas. rule modern and contemporary Gallery.
(bottom right) sue simon, Cacophony, acrylic on canvas. spark Gallery.
(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.
William havu Gallery.
its reputation, in part, on the foundation
of Colorado’s own homegrown talents.
Robischon may be the city’s chief purveyor
of contemporary Chinese art, but it also
promotes the careers of locals like Jack
Balas, Terry Maker, and Scott Chamberlin.
Rule has a large contingent of modern
masters, but in addition to ones from New
York like Carl Andre, it promotes those at
home as well, including Dale Chisman and
Clark Richert. At Havu, regional favorites
– Tracy and Sushe Felix, Amy Metier and
Emilio Lobato – are among the regulars.
Carson/van Straaten, the oldest of the group,
features Jeff Wenzel and Homare Ikeda,
both among the numerous established and
respected Colorado artists whose work may
be seen there. Many of these artists – just
like the galleries that show them – trace their
career origins back to the 1980s.
A few new venues have joined the
top ranks, or at least aspire to do so. These
are Plus Gallery, Walker Fine Art, and
Space Gallery. These three also present a
heterogeneous group of artists, alternating
shows between out-of-towners and regional
fgures. Among the locals seen
at these spots are Bruce Price
and Andy Miller at Plus, Roland
Bernier and Robert Delaney at
Walker, and Michael Burnett
and Ryan Anderson at Space.
One venture on the immediate
horizon that will surely also
emerge as a top exhibition
attraction is Gallery T, which is
going to be run by Ron Judish,
a respected name in Denver’s
art establishment for the last
quarter century. He’s hoping to
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
internationally – and it all started in the
city’s art world.
A museum building boom has been
raging in recent years and started with the
construction of an outrageous new building
for the Denver Art Museum. Conceived by
contemporArY Art in denVer 71
starchitect Daniel Libeskind, the Frederic
C. Hamilton Building has been ridiculed
as looking like the site of an airplane crash.
Although ironic considering Libeskind
designed the original Freedom Tower on the
World Trade Center site, the description is
not far off. The outlandish titanium-clad
forms got Libeskind’s Hamilton into art and
architecture magazines everywhere and thus
put Denver on the art world map in a way that
it had never been before. The freestanding
addition is just across the
street from the museum’s
main building, the equally
famboyant, iridescent glass-
tiled North Building, which
was designed by Gio Ponti in
the 1970s.
With the opening of
the Hamilton in 2006, there
was a sea change in the art
scene that was profoundly
felt not only at the DAM,
but in the rest of the city’s
many exhibition-venues.
The Denver Art Museum
helped broadcast to a wide audience
that the city had come of age, helping
to put the town in the spotlight. Surely,
the attention helped position Denver
on the list of cities being considered for
the DNC.
At the same time that Denver was
raising its profle, the Hamilton’s opening
also sparked the continued expansion of
the city’s visual arts infrastructure. In the
fall of 2007, the Museum of Contemporary
Art/Denver cut the ribbon on their new
building. Like their colleagues at the DAM,
the powers-that-be at the MCA/Denver
tapped an international architecture. In this
case, London-based designer, David Adjaye
ft the bill. But this is just the beginning. A
huge new Colorado History Museum and a
Clyfford Still Museum are both set to rise
in the next couple of years on sites at either
side of the Hamilton.
The history of art in Denver can
be traced back to the last decades of the
nineteenth century—the DAM came on-
line in 1893. Now, in the frst years of the
new millenium, there has been a major,
qualitative change as the city increasingly
becomes the unrivaled center of art in the
Mountain Time Zone. And it could not have
happened at a better time. While media will
converge on Denver to cover politics, they
will likely stumble upon its incredible art
scene as well.
Michael Paglia is the chief art writer for the
Denver Westword.
72 A|c|A sept/oct 2008 (top left) robert delaney, Deer, painted steel. Walker fine Art.
The last remaining works of Mark Travis, a Denver
painter whose life ended last December, will be shown
at Space Gallery through October 11. In fall 2007, Travis
originally planned to exhibit new work to coincide with
the Democratic National Convention. His intention
was to produce, over the course of the year, a politically
motivated body of works. The fruition of this challenge,
although inevitably unrealized, may lead viewers of this
collection to a deeper understanding of the more complex
nuances in Travis’ mark making, color composition, and
fgural abstraction.
Those who knew Mark Travis in his life describe
him as a “consummate painter”, an “artist’s artist”, or
more succinctly, “the real deal”. Travis’ relationship with
Denver galleries was at times strained due to his clear
understanding that the trajectory of his own work and
career conficted with the systemic commodifcation
innate to the art market. Travis lived the subsistent life
of an artist, supporting himself on odd jobs and the sale
of his art work. It is apt to say Travis was the epitome of
the starving artist, the likes of which we see in the movies.
Although his health had been wavering for years, it was
a great shock to his friends and the local art community
when a neighbor found Travis’ body in his studio this
past December. Nearly nine months later, it is diffcult
to grasp the profundity of this loss both personally for
his friends and colleagues and for the the art world. The
striking signifcance of his abbreviated career hinted at
the great pieces Travis had yet to create. This is a great
opportunity to see what was lost.
74 A|c|A sept/oct 2008
eero saarinen, Dulles International Airport Terminal, circa 1963. photo: Balthazar korab
© Balthazar korab Ltd.
This year's election cycle allows
commentators and citizens alike an
opportunity to evoke parallels between
today's America and versions of the country
past. For some, the candidacy of Barack
Obama refects the wonder of the youngest
elected U.S. president, John F. Kennedy, and
the optimism of the early 1960s. Others of a
similar ideological bent fnd the ascendancy
of the Democratic Party, mixed with
economic turmoil, to be a mirror of
the election of Franklin D. Roosevelt
and the coming of the New Deal. Both
refect a longing for an identity larger
than just oneself, a link to the civic
community. These liberal fantasies,
however, are sternly confronted with
a political environment that seems
less receptive to their realization. In
no place will this be more clear than
at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul,
Minnesota, in early September. The
Republicans will soon descend on the
city for their convention. The country,
meanwhile, struggles to navigate the
wreckage of the past seven years.
As the Republican party
confronts the challenge of holding a
convention in St. Paul, the other Twin
city confronts the political landscape
that Republican government and
vision has wrought. Beginning in the
summer and continuing through the
Republican National Convention,
Minneapolis galleries and museums
have staged exhibitions that, in ways
both indirect and overt, challenge
the status quo. A city that has recently been
listed as the “most livable” in the United
States (by European magazine Monocle no
less), situated in a state that has not voted
for a Republican presidential candidate
since 1972, may seem to clash with the
party encroaching on its turf. Minneapolis'
art scene, however, is more than up to
the challenge of putting things in context.
Two museum exhibitions resurrect images
of past American triumphs, while more
contemporary events take on the current
reality by seeking new ideals to push the
country in the direction of renewal.
This year marks the 75th anniversary
of one of the high points of the Democratic
Party: the beginning of the New Deal and
presidency of FDR. That era, in a time of
severe economic turmoil, revolutionized the
concept of America by drastically expanding
the role of the federal government and, as a
result, the nation's collective responsibility.
One of the consequences of this agenda
was government funding of art through the
Public Works of Art Project and the WPA-
established Federal Art Project. In addition
to artists under sponsorship, many others
worked independently to capture the reality
of the times. The offcial repository of works
from this era is the Weisman Art Museum
at the University of Minnesota. It holds
over 1,000 works by over 200 artists and
presented a selected of these for display this
summer. Although much of the 1930s art
could be labeled as social realist,
artists actually created in diverse
styles. Emphasis was placed on
industrial accomplishments and
the workers that produced them.
But many images also focused
on the downtrodden, attempting
to highlight their strife while
implying eventual rectifcation of
their predicament. Government
involvement, combined with
the subject matter portrayed in
this art, resulted in a sense of
heightened national identity among
Americans, an ideal that would see
its fulfllment in the propaganda
supporting the war effort in the
The spirit of that age remains
relevant to the present. Although
it quickly faded, the attacks of 9/11
provided an ephemeral moment
of collective identity among
Americans and much of the world.
More recently, the country is faced
with an economic crisis that many
expect to be the worse since the
Great Depression. The result could well be
an expansion of collective control over the
economy through government bailouts. In
spite of these provocations toward a renewed
sense of communal responsibility, the events
of the Republican National Convention
will assuredly envision an America that is
by tori frankel
minneApoLis Vs. conVention 75
(top right) eero saarinen, TWA Terminal, circa 1962. photo © Balthazar korab Ltd.
(above left) Berenice Abbott, Murray Hill Hotel: Spiral, 112 Park Avenue, Manhattan,
1935, gelatin silver print. (above right) dorothea Lau, Workers - Five O'Clock,
ca.1935-40, oil on canvas.
different from the one projected by the New
Deal. The era, of course, is anathema to a
party that speaks most often of faith in the
marketplace. And far from the patrician
Roosevelt, recently successful Republican
politicians have upheld the folksy everyman,
an ideal associated more with rugged
individualism than any collective concern.
Another touchstone for Democrats is
the overreaching aspirations of the Kennedy
administration. Nearly ffty years ago, the
JFK presidency pushed the United States
toward the future through a mission to
the moon and an emphasis on national
responsibility. The attitude of this era, of
possibilities tinged with an underlying fear
of world annihilation, could also be found in
the futuristic, space-age architecture of Eero
Saarinen, which will be showcased after the
convention by the Walker Art Center and
the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Although
the architect died shortly after Kennedy
entered offce, his legacy endured as projects
he designed continued through the mid-
1960s. In many ways, his work refected
the sense of progress as well as the fear of
the sublime. His famous Gateway Arch in
St. Louis presents the enduring vision of
American expansion and, therefore, the
country's dominance. But it was his two
famous airport structures, the main terminal
at Dulles International Airport and the
TWA terminal at JFK Airport, that express
the possibility of a transcendent world in
which progress succeeds indefnitely. Like
the works from the New Deal, they uphold
a sense of community identity linked with
the universal culture of air travel. They
underline the changing nature of the world.
If New Deal works presented the ideal
of surviving through community and the
work of Saarinen pushed for blind hope
in progress, the current state of America
challenges both notions. The country
today arguably lacks any sense of collective
purpose. And while faith in progress never
dies, we have reached a point in which a
slight plurality of Americans feel things
are getting worse. The Republicans are not
solely to blame for these developments,
but their status as the party in the White
House makes them a symbol of the past
seven years, of mismanaged wars and
incompetent disaster response. The promise
of the post-9/11 American community never
reached fruition. Instead, the country moved
further on the path of partisanship, selfsh
individualism, and excessive consumption of
Although Saarinen's Dulles terminal
outside of Washington, DC, was christened
by Kennedy a year before the president's
death, the forward-looking ideals of
progress implicit in that structure were
quickly overshadowed by assassinations,
a treacherous war in Southeast Asia, and
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'.
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 redefnition.
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”
for artists to start a visual
conversation composed
in contemporary art.
Featuring work in a
variety of media, the
most popular part of
the exhibition was an
exploded concrete
sculpture by Brenda
Ingersoll. Reminiscent
of a World Trade Center
tower, the sculpture
evokes the sense of
national unity that could
have driven the country
in a positive direction.
Just as “Revisions”
sought artist participa-
tion, “The UnConven-
tion” seeks to involve
the public. A non-par-
tisan counterpoint to
the Republican National
Convention, “The Un-
Convention” will bring
citizens together to pro-
mote an unscripted dia-
logue on important issues.
Encompassing many different events (see
page 54 ), its overall effect is one of height-
ened civic involvement. “My Yard Our Mes-
sage”, a online lawn-sign creation contest,
features numerous calls to vote, as well as
images that refect upon America's stand-
ing in the world. One states when “when
government lets us down, we must rise up”.
Such a call for collective action against an
ineffectual government refects Thomas Jef-
ferson's notion of democracy. The most en-
during rebuttal to the convention, however,
may end up being “The State of Things”, a
giant ice sculpture of the word “Democracy”
that will slowly melt during one day of the
The fnal two months before the
presidential election give the country an
opportunity for self-assessment. In Minne-
apolis, the modernist glory of Saarinen and
the transcendent collective of New Deal art
offer a look back at what America has been
in the past. They also give insight into what
is lacking today. A collective responsibility
for this country, realized by something as
simple as voting and as complex as providing
for all citizens, was the important then and
remains so now. ACA
Art in the AGe of BUsh 77
(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".
Both courtesy of the Wolfsonian at fiU.
by eric kalisher
hese days, it is fashionable to declare
the imminent fall of the American
empire. Although many shrink from using
such overt language, they still recognize the
challenges of energy dependence, economic
overextension, an emerging China and re-
emerging Russia, and the resultant decline
in American infuence. The impetus for
this turnaround in the national narrative
lies in the recent past. While the 1990s
were a decade of American dominance, the
attacks of 9/11 – “the barbarian invasions” as
flmmaker Denys Arcand called them – begun
an era of challenge to this unipolar position.
As we approach the seventh anniversary
of that shocking day, we can more readily
measure what has been lost than what has
been gained. Presidents are often identifed
in retrospect with certain eras of American
history and the trends that became apparent
during them. It remains doubtful that any
will ever be viewed with as much
infamy as the one in which we
currently live. Never before in
the postwar era has the American
ideal been so open to dispute.
The changes that this
country has witnessed over
these last eight years are not
confned to any single realm of
the country, nor do they stem
entirely from namesake of the
era and his administration. More
than anything, they signify the
continuance of lost opportunities
and the assertion of a reckless
leadership. Government agencies
have been devalued and politicized, just as
the truth about war and the economy have
been. Challenges at home and abroad
have been met with diversions instead of
confrontation. An America that was never
asked to sacrifce – fnancially, physically,
emotionally – after 9/11 has instead
overindulged. Today, the country faces
a fnancial crisis that stems in large part
from the consumer-obsession of a nation
that has long given up on any civic-minded,
collective identity The butcher's bill has
come due, and while pundits and best-seller
tell-alls provide insight into this period, the
best way to wade through the insanity is
through unconventional means.
In assessing the Age of Bush, artists must
ask how new realities should be presented
and what imagery can best evoke them.
Rectifying the present with past is a good
way to begin to tackle these issues, and
such a theme underpins an exhibition at the
Wolfsonian. The museum, part of Florida
International University in Miami Beach,
invited over 60 artists to re-envision Norman
Rockwell's “Four Freedoms” paintings for
the present era. Rockwell's iconic images
from 1943, based of President Franklin D.
Roosevelt's third inaugural address, visually
presented freedom of speech, freedom of
worship, freedom from want, and freedom
from fear. In “Thoughts on Democracy”, the
exhibition resulting from the Wolfsonian's
challenge, the artists collectively demonstrate
the ways in which the American ideal has
evolved over the past half century.
Rockwell's depiction of freedom from
fear has particularly relevance today. The
poster featured a mother and father tucking
their children into bed. Two artists take on
this image directly by showing the result of
fear in our own era. James Victor paints
78 A|c|A sept/oct 2008
(top left) dan Van clapp, Fountain of Carnage, assemblage fountain. part of "patriot Act"
(above) elliot earls, Poster - Liberty Weeps, 2008, archival ink-jet print, 20" x 16". courtesy
of the Wolfsonian.
over the scene and creates one in which
the mother and father mourn over a fag-
draped coffn, likely housing a soldier killed
in Iraq. In his alteration, Victor emphasizes
an event that gets little attention – the media
is banned from military funerals resulting
from Iraq War deaths. Guillermo Kuitca
similarly highlights the marginalization of
civic concerns. He recasts Rockwell's image
in the corner of an empty stage, free of any
audience. The problem is not merely that
the American ideal is in trouble, it is the
apathy of the citizenry to such concerns.
The Iraq War fgures prominently in
many other posters that address fear. The
terror stoked by talk of “mushroom clouds”
was, in fact, used by the government to
launch the invasion of Iraq. In Helene
Silverman's creation, the faces of the war
stare back at the viewer, in a mosaic that
includes the war dead with red, white,
and blue superimposed over it, serving
as a universal face. Its imagery evokes a
politicized variation on a Rauschenberg
or Johns creation and challenges us to
confront both what the fag represents and
what it has wrought. Fear is also the theme
of Chaz Maviyane-Davies' contribution, a
deconstruction of the color-coded terrorist
alert symbol. Different languages are
attached to each color. The safe level
corresponds to “we the people” in English,
while its Arabic equivalent is demarcated as
a red alert. Fear of cultural pluralism is the
enduring impression. As the war confronts
us face-to-face, we must confront whether
our own intolerance and marginalization of
those abroad have contributed to it.
The “global war of terror” is not the only
brand created by the Bush administration.
In recent years, freedom itself has been
commodifed as a product to be exported
to the rest of the world. In his poster,
George Mill presents “freedom” in a pretty
advertisement, indistinguishable from those
created on Madison Avenue. While we may
see freedom as an irrevocable right, in this ad
“certain restrictions apply”. The disclaimer
underneath the ad image indicates that it
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
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.
What will push Americans out of
complacency and toward confrontation with
the problems of the day. Adam Lewin's
poster updates the freedoms, in exaggerated
form, to today's realities. Freedom of speech
may exist, but it has become increasingly
restricted. A gagged man is taken away
by police in image that demonstrates the
quashing of protest. With an image of Nike
shoes, freedom to worship is applied to
faith in the market of goods. Freedom from
want, meanwhile, has been transformed into
freedom of excess, with a fattened individual
sucking down McDonald's fast food. Finally,
in the post-9/11 world, freedom from fear
becomes state protection, in which the
prevalence of security measures, including
the security cameras pictured in Lewis's
poster, become the only means to that end.
Freedom of fear has moved away from
the psychological state to the aggressively
invasive measures that “protect” us from
physical harm but not from fear itself.
These posters make it clear that
America is failing to live up to its ideal. Elliot
Earls channels Liberty Leading the People,
but recasts it as “Liberty Weeps”, with a baby
Liberty distraught and seemingly calling for
someone to take responsibility for her and,
accordingly, the country's direction. The
image provides a culmination of what has
been lost in the Age of Bush. America has
faced challenges in the past – from the internal
division of the 1960s to economic turmoil in
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.
We can start by having a discussion about how
to defne America. A forthcoming exhibition
in Orange County, California, does just that.
Entitled “Just How Does a Patriot Act?” and
curated by Joella March, it includes works
by nearly 30 artists, accompanied by perfor-
mance art and poetry. Freedom of speech and
the dialogue of ideas are two major underlying
threads of this show. In the Age of Bush,
though, what is dialogue but the airing of the
oppositional viewpoint. The problem is not
so much that the two sides aren't talking –
although that is a problem – but that one side
is being completely marginalized. That has
been the Bush administration great political
success and the country's great loss. While
the citizenry is largely aware of the dictates
from the White House, the offcial policy
and government “propaganda”, those views
rejected by administration often fail to flter
through to the population. A vocal minority
warned of distortions in the intelligence that
supported the casus belli, and Ed Gramlich,
a member of the Board of Governors of
the Federal Reserve, was ignored when he
warned about lax regulation of mortgages.
The truth is out there, it just often fails to
make it to the public in any widespread form.
The exhibition's cri de ceour quotes Thomas
Jefferson: “to dissent is patriotic.” The artists
included live up to this mission by probing
subjects like the infuence of money on U.S.
policy and the hidden toll of the Iraq War.
For too much of the world today, the
image of America is similar to one created
by Noah Breuer: two arms covered in
dripping blood.. Up at the elbow, the blood
begins to conform to two separate patterns
enhanced by blue: the British and American
fags. Although an extreme image, the idea
that blood is on the hands on America and
its transatlantic ally is an underlying reality
of international dominance and invasions
that yield tens of thousands of civilian
deaths. This message is seconded in Dan
Van Clapp's “Fountain of Carnage”, an
assemblage fountain in which bloods pours
our of a the muzzle of a gun. America's
unwillingness to acknowledge this bloody
reality, no matter the justness of the cause,
is emphasized in the image.
The infuence of the Iraq War on the
current American reality may not be so
apparent to citizens who do not venture
abroad and instead shield themselves in
local concerns. For some, fnancial matters
remain paramount. Ryan Broughman and
Robin Clark examine American identity
through the deconstruction of its primary
currency: the greenback dollar. Broughman
reshapes the dollar into a narrative of
America in which war drives the American
economy. Clark, on the other hand, culls
images from the dollar to understand how
the currency gains its power and identity. At
the heart of both are the military-industrial
complex, which offers world superiority and
consumer comfort.
The U.S. has been free of terrorist
attacks over the last seven years. Some
Americans, therefore, believe wars abroad
bring peace home. This is a long-running
theme in American history: military might
makes the world safe for American. From
World War II to Vietnam to Iraq, foreign
Art in the AGe of BUsh 79
(top right) John carr, War Is Peace, screenprint. (above right) noah Breuer, Blood On Our
Hands, silkscreen print. Both part of "patriot Act"
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.
conficts are viewed as protection of the
way of life that exists in the home front.
John Carr make the link explicit in “War is
Peace”, a screenprint that shows two peaceful
Americans watching a nuclear light show.
But confict is not just something that protects
American from attack. It is also something
that enriches the population and helps build
a complacent existence. The happy red,
white, and blue-tinged couple titillated by the
Bomb are the benefciaries of the military-
industrial economic boost. With weapons
manufacturing, the U.S. expands both its
military and economic prowess. It was this
way in Cold War era and remains so today.
The cost of complacency at home
and aggressive military actions abroad is a
lost of acceptance by the world and, more
importantly, the loss of lives. Abstractly
represented by Matthew Bryant are the
“34,452 Civilians Killed in Iraq During
2006”. Sparing the viewer the pain of direct
representation, the image nevertheless
presents the immensity of the lost. Clayton
Campbell takes on a different kind of
death, the destruction of ideals. “After
Abu Ghraib” manipulates the infamous
images and makes them more palatable
by diminishing the visceral horror that the
originals evoked. By taking the edge out and
sparing the victims, Campbell seeks to draw
viewers into the abstract debate about the
principles destroyed by the images existence
– and the events that led to them.
While these shows in Florida and Southern
California challenge the idea of American in
2008, a New York City exhibition provides
the most horrible, Grand Guignol grotesque
of the current era. Amid the summertime
playfulness (real or nostalgically conjured)
of Coney Island is the “Waterboarding
Thrill Ride”. For some children and naïve
individuals, the title may suggest boogie-
boarding down a watery slope and getting
splashed. Appearances can be deceiving,
though, as even the image of Spongebob
Squarepants, adorned on the exterior of the
rise, defes its playful roots with a “It Don't
Gitmo Better!” caption displayed above the
cartoon character. Noticing this phrase and
its key reference to the Guantanamo Bay
military detention camp, most will hopefully
understand the dark side of this spectacle.
If not, perhaps the image of an animatronic
fgure in black “waterboarding” another
in orange, while it convulses, will send the
message home.
By inserting torture into the everyday,
Steve Powers, the artist who created the
installation, comments on the complex
nature of America in the age of terrorism.
It is not simply that such acts have been
used by the United States government, but
it's also the widespread acceptance of them.
The television show 24 foregrounds torture
in nearly every other episode. Government
offcials actually sited the show as inspiration
for their actions, if not justifcation. This
perverse and backward relationship between
pop culture and policy is refected in the
“Ride”. Some experts feel that torture
works best when those who use it know they
are breaking the law. The theory maintains
that, under threat of legal repercussion,
these tactics would only be used in the most
extreme cases (picture a ticking time bomb).
Yet, the very word “waterboarding” seeks
to diminish the act of simulated drawing
(that is, torture) into something less terrible,
into something bureaucratic and routine.
Correspondingly, Powers takes this further
by placing “waterboarding” within the
confnes of a thrill ride, a fun event in which
patrons receive a sadomasochistic pleasure.
With this satirical rendering, euphemism has
reached its extreme. Simulated drowning
has gone from torture to fun ride in a mere
eight years. An event of national tragedy has
went from solemn occasion to an impetus
to a false war to a grotesque precursor of
American decline.
These three exhibitions highlight what
has been lost. In contrast to the political
conventions that take will place in late August
and early September and the campaigns
that surround them, these art events look
backward at the remnants. In both the
Democratic and Republican conventions,
we will probably see posturing about the
future instead of confrontation with the
past. No politician has won favor by looking
backward, except in teary eyed nostalgia or
while evoking blood-lust vengeance. But,
in raising the toll of these past years, this
art infuences the cultural discourse and
incites active minds to ponder this country.
Assessment of what has gone wrong is an
essential precursor to moving forward.
For a longer version of this article and
more information about the exhibitions visit
Art in the AGe of BUsh 81 steve powers, installation view "Waterboarding Thrill Ride". photos: Jillianne pierce.
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 offcial 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 fgure 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
out in plaid shorts and a t-shirt and sporting a
Cosmo Kramer ‘do, told us that the purpose
of the exhibit was “just to get a reaction out
of people.” An avid painter of “personal
relationship stuff,” Powers had never built
an art installation before. He said the spot
was offered to him and that “it was the right
thing in the right place at the right time.”
Powers stated that he has no future plans
to create other political installations, but
that “Waterboarding Thrill Ride” will be
relocated to Manhattan in September and
then eventually to Washington DC.
Visitors walking by stopped to look
at the exterior of the exhibit, many taking
photos of the painting of Nickelodeon char-
acters Spongebob Squarepants and Squid-
ward. In the painting, Spongebob is lying on
his back while Squidward pours water onto
him and exclaims, “It don’t Gitmo better!”
in a not-so-subtle allusion to tactics alleg-
edly used at Guan-
tanamo bay. Some
peered through the
single barred window
to watch the exhibit
below. The growing
line of people to see
the show peaked the
curiosity of others,
who waited for their
turn. Many people
walked away laugh-
ing. A gentleman
wearing khaki shorts
and aviator shades observed, “I saw an
article about this in the New York Times.
People are laughing. Do they understand?”
Siblings James, Sarah and Patrick Hanlon
were visiting from Chicago. When asked
what they thought of the experience, all three
of them laughed and said “It was funny.”
James, 12, said it was funny because “it was
awkward.” While admitting to only “kind
of” knowing what the exhibit was about, his
sister Sarah, 16, laughed because “it’s fake.”
Older brother Patrick, 20, explained “the
government says it’s not torture, but clearly
it is. And the Spongebob is even better,”
he grinned.
Jim Knipfel is a Brooklyn resident
and a seasoned Coney Island visitor,
though this was his frst time visiting the
exhibit. He said, “If you look at the history
of Coney Island, it always refected culture
and ugly things in culture. People say this
is shocking and disgusting and offensive,
but this is being done to robots. I think it’s
fantastic; maybe we’ll open a few eyes.”
– Jillianne Pierce
Living the nation’s capital can be a bit
challenging for any artist. For Mag-
gie Michael, who has been based in the city
for the last eight years,
the stressful and diffcult
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 infuenced her cre-
ative career, but she has
also been impacted and
shaped by her two previ-
ous, decidedly different
During Michael’s early career years in
the Midwest, she was drawn to and infuenced
by the powerful abstract gesturalism and
strong colors in the paintings of Chicago-
born American Abstract Expressionist
Joan Mitchell. Michael’s viewers can trace
a historical line of infuence from her work
back through Mitchell to the Abstract
Expressionist paintings of Jackson Pollock,
Willem de Kooning, and Franz Kline,
but that line must also include two vital
American female artists. Post-Painterly
Abstractionist Helen Frankenthaler’s
wonderful fuidity and sensual compositions
were another early infuence on Michael.
The less obvious infuence on Michael’s early
stylistic development, however, was Louise
Bourgeois, whose unique sculptures and
undeniably female perspective presented a
new avenue to the young Michael, who even
82 A|c|A sept/oct 2008
maggie michael: (top right) in her studio (bottom left) Untitled, 2007, latex, enamel, spray paint,
charcoal, ink, nails on canvas, 64" x 42".
by tracey m. hawkins
while in high school grew tired of the more
publicly celebrated male version of Abstract
Expressionism. Michael professes that she
responds more to sculpture than painting
and often incorporates sculptural elements
into her own gestural abstract paintings.
While in San Francisco during
graduate school, Michael’s experience of
the radiant California landscape added its
own layer of infuence to her work. Living
near the mountains, she absorbed the strong
California environment and processed it
into her painterly style.
In Washington, she has been infuenced
by the political life of the capital. Her color
palette has altered, as lately she has been
painting in variations of black-white-grey
and red-white-blue. While
she does not restrict all of her
paintings to these restrained
color palettes, she does fnd
the challenges of working
within set limitations quite
exciting. This brings to mind
the work of another strong,
female American modernist,
poet Marianne Moore. This
reference feels appropriate, as
Michael wants her work to be
analogous to poetry, to embody
an ephemeral way of thinking
about and approaching things.
In addition to the political impact
Washington has asserted on Michael’s body
of work, she has been afforded
access to the city’s many
wonderful institutions for
study and research. Michael
has been the recipient of a
prestigious Smithsonian Artist
Research Fellowship. This
honor granted her access to
the museums, collections,
and curators of the Arthur M.
Sackler and Freer Gallery of
Art, where she has researched
on Hindu Shiva and Vishnu
sculptures, and the Hirshhorn
Museum and Sculpture
Garden, where she has focused on historical
and contemporary flm. In her research,
she has been particularly drawn to major
themes of creation and destruction as well
as passion, desire, and loss. These common
themes of contrast and confict are now a
very strong presence in her current work.
Maggie Michael’s work is currently on
view in exhibits at Rule Gallery in Denver,
CO; G Fine Art in Washington, D.C; The
Lab in Lakewood, CO; and the Museum of
Art at Brigham Young University in Provo,
UT. Next year, she will be exhibiting a new
body of work at Pocket Utopia in Brooklyn,
NY in May, where she may, in addition to
her paintings, surprise her viewers with work
in sculpture and/or flm.
mAGGie michAeL 83
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,
enamel, oil, charcoal on canvas, 60" X 40".
Tracey M. Hawkins is a Professor of Art History at the Art Institute of
Atlanta and a Contributing Editor to this magazine.
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Several years ago, almost by accident, as a
fundraiser for the Havana Hebrew Com-
munity Center, I co-curated an exhibition of
Cuban art in the greater Washington, DC,
area, putting together artists from Cuba
with those from the Cuban diaspora around
the world. It was a tremendously successful
exhibition, both critically and commercially.
Since then I have continued to develop my
ties and relationship with many of those art-
ists as well as new ones, and this new exhibi-
tion, “Aqui Estamos (Here We Are)”, to be
held at H&F Fine Arts, is the last in an in-
teresting series of Cuban art exhibitions that
I have curated.
In “Aqui Estamos”, I have put together
the core of some of the artists whom I
consider to be among the best of a leading
group of contemporary Cuban artists. These
artists, working mostly out of Havana, use
their art not only as a means of expressing
their plastic arts talents, but also as a
powerful vehicle to deliver strong narrative
issues, ideas, and concepts. Often, members
of this brave group challenge in subtle ways
the harsh realities of Cuban life, governed,
as they have been for almost 50 years, by an
iron-fsted dictatorship with little room for
dissidence in any form or manner.
Key among this talented group are
the works of Sandra Ramos, a young and
multitalented Havana painter, videographer,
printmaker, installation artist and sculptor.
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,
whose feminist and politically-driven work
have been described as “woman as vagina
dentata”. The paintings and digital prints of
Aimee Garcia Marrero, almost exuberant
in their technical skill, also add narrative
scenarios to the mix.
Cuban-born and Boston resident
Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons is perhaps
the most important Cuban artist in exile.
As evidence, I point out that she has shown
at New York’s Museum of Modern Art,
Minneapolis’s Walker Art Center, the
Smithsonian, the Venice Biennale, and many
other prestigious venues around the world.
And last year the Indianapolis Museum
of Art hosted “Everything Is Separated
by Water”, a mid-career retrospective of
Campos-Pons’ paintings, sculptures, photos,
and installations.
These artists and others in this
exhibition will show viewers a visual artistic
roadmap of clues and signs, all deeply
immersed in the Latin American tradition of
narrative artwork. It is married to political
and historical references as well as personal
iconography. It is equally important as a
signifcant and historical footprint of their
birth nation’s history.
The exhibition has an opening reception on
November 1, 2008 from 5-8PM and runs
through November 29. H&F Fine Arts is at
located at 3311 Rhode Island Avenue in Mount
Rainier, MD, just outside of Washington, DC.
from the cUrAtor 87
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
is a Huge Word), gelatin silver print.
By f. Lennox campello
from the curator
Artists 91
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".
When you frst think of the alloy bronze,
you typically think of a sculpture, carefully
modeled in clay and then cast in a foundry.
However, when contemporary artist Nathan
Fischer thinks of bronze, his frst inclination is
“landscape.” It is that mental transformation
that Fischer uses in his artwork, as he takes a
medium typically used one way and converts
it into bronze panels, much like canvases that
collectors are eager to hang on their walls.
Perhaps it’s not surprising that Nathan
Fischer came to use bronze in his artwork, as
he frst learned the process of casting bronze
sculpture at his father’s art foundry, the
Monterey Sculpture Center. Working side by
side with his father, himself an accomplished
artist, he felt a closeness to the arts dating
from his boyhood days in California. But it
was the beauty of the coastline in Monterey,
where the water transitioned from land and
sky that prompted his love of the landscape.
Capturing the varied way nature lights these
elements are the focus of Fischer’s unusual
artistic technique.
Fischer starts by forming panels of
a sheet of bronze. It must be cut, bent,
soldered, and fnished with detailed refning
work before he can fully use it as a “canvas”
for his artistic technique. By sanding and
polishing the surface he creates underlying
dimensions which are accentuated by
welding, hammering and grinding the
surface. It is with these minute angles at the
surface that cause the light to bounce off the
tiny little grinding lines that are then colored
by applying various chemicals in different
layers to the raw metal, sometimes while
being heated with a torch. Obviously, his
color palette is comprised largely of golds,
umbers, rusts and steel
blues. While to some this
might seem like a limited
array of color, Fischer
takes it as a personal
challenge and so forms
deep skies, rich horizons, and unusual
vanishing points.
“A lot of trial and error goes into each
piece,” comments Fischer. “Sometimes I
get lucky and fnish a piece the frst time...
I love those days!” His work refects why
he is drawn to art as he believes it “speaks
the universal language of the landscape,”
which can be appreciated by all, whether
you are a traditionalist or have a taste for
the more contemporary. Indeed, some
might even suggest that his work at times
has an Asian feel, with large amounts of
negative space, allowing the viewer to feel
almost insignifcant when compared to the
vastness of the landscape. It is this
minimalism that attracts the eye of the con-
temporary collector.
A host of infuences have shaped the
way Nathan Fischer works. Initially, being
surrounded by talented artists instilled in
him an appreciation for art, design, and
creativity. His inherent talent was shaped
by his formal training, earning a Bachelor
of Arts in Interior Design, with an emphasis
in art history. In fact, Fischer still practices
interior and architectural design throughout
California even in the midst of his successful
career as an artist.
Of late, Fischer has been practicing
“green art”. As such, he saves the dust from
the bronze that is left from sanding his
pieces and then he mixes the dust in with
his paints. He then adds the chemicals used
for his metal work to get organic tones and
a natural patina effect with the paint. The
result—waste free art!
Fischer is compelled to create
something natural and soothing, while at
the same time inheriting an industrial feel.
The organic tone of Fischer’s work, fused
with his medium results in art “with an
edge.” And that edge comes from trusting
the inherent randomness that comes with
each piece. Fischer enjoys the fact that his
work is totally unique. Having developed the
process himself, no one does similar work
which is why collectors respond so favorably
to his art. With their contemporary fair,
Fischer notes, “nothing beats completing a
piece that turns out just as he imagines and
hopes, especially when that piece also grabs
the attention of someone else.” Indeed, once
that happens, the transformation that Fisher
strives for is complete.
– Clark D. Olson
Nathan Fischer is represented by Bonner
David Galleries in Scottsdale, AZ. For more
information, visit
92 A|c|A sept/oct 2008
Brian scott: Totem series. for more image information, visit
Brian Scott’s Totem works are made of
transparent or semi-opaque glass cast in
aluminum. The color of the glass might
be transparent, opalescent, amber, yellow,
green, blue, aqua, violent, and/or red. His
works range in height from sixteen inches
to eleven feet tall. To begin his unique pro-
cess, Scott makes molds in wet sand. He
then impresses various textures along the
dies of these molds. After this, he positions
large blocks of pristine glass in the sand
forms. Aluminum, generally scrap metal
from old cars, is next heated until it fuxes at
1200 degrees. He pours this molten metal
into his prepared molds, and the heat from
the aluminum crazes the glass, with dif-
ferent colors of glass fracturing to varying
degrees. Scott fnishes each Totem by
grinding away the unwanted metal or
adding solder.
Brian Scott’s work is represented by Coady
Contemporary in Santa Fe, NM. For more
information, visit
Artists focUs 93
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
Environment] (from 1961). All images copyright 2007.and courtesy of etherton Gallery.
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: 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.
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.
94 A|c|A sept/oct 2008
Gwen Laine, installation view of “Passing Through”, courtesy of van straaten Gallery.
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
fve images, I became lost. I
struggled for some time trying to
create the next image, but nothing worked.
Finally, I gave up. I set the fve work prints
on a corner of my desk and went on to new
One day this past summer, I was
running late to meet a friend for lunch when
the work prints caught my eye. I stopped to
look through them and, at that moment, I
knew what the next image would be. As I
was sketching it, I realized why I had gotten
lost three years earlier. All along, I had been
creating installations that I was forcing into
photographs. This newest idea had to be
produced as an installation.
Two things drive me to work
photographically. The frst is the control it
gives me in the art making process, and the
second is the desire to subvert that control.
For this installation, I relied upon degrees
of control and chance to create a work that
changes over time. As an artist, I make
certain decisions which give me control
over my work. But in this work, one of my
decisions was to employ materials over which
I had limited control as time passed.
I included images of hands in this
work for two purposes. First, a photograph
is primarily a record of refected light at a
particular moment in time, and when we
look at them, we are looking backward
through time. We know that each of these
hands moved on the instant after the image
was recorded, and that moment is gone
forever. Yet here we stand, today, looking
at that moment. Second, the images are
a suggestion, an idea. Hands are often the
tools through which our minds control our
lives, but some degree of what occurs in
our lives is due to chance, to circumstances
beyond our control.
I used Mylar in three forms for this
installation, as each added photographic
qualities to the work. The clear Mylar on
which the images are printed allows for
seeing through, or forward, as does the clear
Mylar of the bubble balloons. In the
refection of the silver Mylar balloons,
you look back – at yourself or beyond. By
flling the balloons with helium, I achieved
momentary control over my installation. I
determined the initial balance of the room,
but I knew that the helium began escaping
immediately and, ultimately, the balance of
the work would be determined by something
beyond my control.
Viewers are the fnal chance component
in the installation, serving as temporary
visual elements as they are refected in the
balloons. Passing through the room, the air
they displace jostles the images, causing
them to rotate until the air stills. A bit
like rolling dice, their fnal position will be
determined by chance.
Gwen Laine is represented by Carson/van
Straaten Gallery in Denver, CO. For more
information, visit
Artists 95
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".
(above right) Blue View, metallic acrylic on linen, 50" x 45".
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
reconfguration. 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
96 A|c|A sept/oct 2008
eva carter: (clockwise from top right) Passionate Venture, 2008, oil on canvas, 60" x 48"; Summer
Song, 2008, oil on canvas, 36" x 48"; Night Tide, 2008, oil on canvas, 72" x 66".
Eva Carter works in a studio on the
intercoastal waterway in Charleston,
South Carolina. A spiritual connection
can be drawn between her large abstract
paintings and the ambiance of the natural
environment. Like the mix of fresh and
salt waters in Charleston Harbor, Carter’s
expressionistic paintings commingle diverse
life experiences, which include three
distinctive stages in her life: her upbringing
and education in rural Tennessee, her
extensive travels into the desert southwest,
and her mature life steeped in the tradition
of the historic South. Although she doesn’t
paint the literal landscape, her inspiration
is charged by the idyllic setting of her
Wadmalaw Island studio, where she watches
the ebb and fow of intercoastal tides or the
fading light on the watery horizon.
There is a balance of energy and
grace in Eva Carter’s paintings and it
is that distinctive perspective that has
won her national acclaim. “I paint
for me, but the universal emotions
translated to viewers are the
connections that excite me. I don’t
have a map when I begin the journey.
I just step up to the canvas and let
intuition tell me where my brush
should travel,” she says. Her abstract
expressionist paintings have been
included in numerous exhibitions
at gallery spaces, universities and
colleges, corporate collections,
as well as museums throughout
the Southeast.
According to Karin Olah, her art falls into
many categories. “It can be described as
painting, collage age, or fber art,” she says.
Her work is also informed by “graffti art,
calligraphy and cursive handwriting, fashion,
and language.” Olah works on canvas, linen,
and paper, creating her signature collage
paintings as a way to connect with America’s
quilt making heritage. Using fabric,
often antique textiles, the artist works in a
manner that mimics the fow of paint from
a brush. Intricately cut, placed, and pasted
threads overlap one another and become
the paintings’ stories. Much of the artist’s
palette pairs historical Charleston colors
with lush complementary tones selected
from her vast fabric collection. Translucent
layers of cottons, silks, and linens blend with
opaque calligraphic brushstrokes as graphite
lines intersect the surface. Karin fnishes
many of the compositions with a dance of
colorful encircling thread.
Karin Olah’s style is a tangible patch-
work of her experiences. From a small-
town upbringing in Lancaster County,
Pennsylvania, her interest in Amish quilts
and textile traditions led her to study Fiber
Art at Maryland Institute College of Art
in Baltimore. For several years following
art school, Karin managed a textile studio
in New York City, developing colors and
patterns for clients, including Donna Karan,
Marc Jacobs, Ralph Lauren,
and Peter Marino Interior
Architects. Now applying
her fabric know-how to the
realm of painting, Karin fnds
her collage art featured in
numerous group and solo
exhibitions, as well as in several
corporate collections. Karin is
active in the visual art scene:
curating and directing Eva
Carter Gallery in Charleston.
Her time in Charleston
has been very infuential
to her work, though in an abstract sense.
“In Charleston, when you drive over the
bridge, you see a bird’s-eye-view; where
local islands, rivers, and marshes spread
out in the distance,” she says. “It’s a very
fat perspective of colors - blue, silver, aqua,
green, creamy whites and neutral tones. You
see the sky mirrored in the waterways and
you see loose threads of rivers circling the
islands.” The city’s center also provides
a vivid model. “Picturesque downtown is
full of inspiring colors and subjects: pastel
colored mansions, wrought ironwork, historic
churches, palmetto trees, cobblestone alleys,
and the deepest blue sky,” she adds.
In general, the medium in which she
works excites Olah: “I love the implications
of working with textiles. There is something
very intimate and domestic about it. My
work is really an exploration of material and
abstraction. It’s about many visual infuences
seen in my world as well as a history that
came before it.”
The work of both Eva Carter and Karin Olah
can be found at Eva Carter Gallery, located at
132 E. Bay St. in Charleston, SC. For more
information, visit
Artists 97
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".
Colorado artist Shelly Hearne consistently
evolves. Originally working in pastels,
Hearne’s organic style embraces her vision
of the western landscape. Trees, mountains,
and hills take on a new perspective and
palette with angular horizons, stylized aspen
groves, and dramatic skies. Now working in
acrylic, Hearne’s mastery of color simply
glows. The warmth of the panels captures
the eye, the imagination, and the buyer all
at once. Often likened to a stained glass
window, Hearne’s work is at once bold and
dramatic yet easy to live with. Her stylized
trees and forals are enchanting, striking and
exciting all at once.
“As a form of communication, color is
irreplaceable,” Hearne says from her Fort
Collins, Colorado, studio. “The concept
of color may be approached from several
disciplines; perhaps the most versatile is
art.” Her work is a collection of color and
movement as well as expression of emotion
and value. Her intent as an artist is to evoke
an emotive response from the viewer.
Shelly’s formal train-
ing is in interior design and
perhaps that is why her
collectors have embraced
her work. She has a clear
understanding of what her
creative vision can make
people feel. She intuitively
knows what people like
to enjoy on a daily basis.
Hearne’s success can be
measured by acceptance in
both corporate and private
collections throughout the
west. The Marriott Hotel,
Medical Center of the Rockies, Neenan
Archistruction, Inc., and design professionals
have placed Hearne’s work throughout public
buildings. Private collectors throughout the
United States and abroad have embraced
Hearne’s work for its ease on the eye, bold
structure and warm palette.
“The detail of my subject matter is
of less importance to me that its cast and
movement. To capture the curvature of a calla
lily is to enlighten the viewer to my own vision
of a simple fower,” she says. Hearne draws
inspiration from the work of Wolf Kahn and
Georgia O’Keeffe. “My own personal style
has evolved into a more representational
one. My work is a simple communication of
nature’s often complicated substance and
vibrance,” she continues.
Jim Benest, owner of The Collective
Fine Art Gallery in Fort Collins, says,
“Shelly’s work is universally accepted by
men and women alike and that’s not always
the case in the gallery world. A couple will
enter the gallery, gasp at a piece, look at
each other and without saying a word, they
break into a grin. That’s the emotional effect
Shelly’s art has on people.”
Hearne’s work is available as originals
as well as fnely made giclée reproductions
on either archival watercolor paper and
canvas. Editions are limited and quality
is tightly controlled. In addition to The
Collective Fine Art Gallery, Shelly Hearne
is represented by Warrior’s Work and
Best West Galleries in Hill City, South
Dakota and the Bradley House in Boulder,
Colorado. Hearne’s work has appeared in
many invitational shows throughout the west
including Vail, San Francisco, Denver, and
the Museum of Contemporary Art in Fort
– Kathy Bauer
98 A|c|A sept/oct 2008
shelly hearne: (top left) Colorado Morning, original acrylic. (bottom right) Petal Parquetry,
original acrylic.
Shelly Hearne’s work can be seen at The
Collective Fine Art Gallery at 109 South
College Avenue in Fort Collins, CO. For
more information phone the gallery at (970)
224-1231 or visit
Many people know Ben Nighthorse Camp-
bell for the role he played as a United States
Senator. He has earned himself much no-
toriety for his bipartisan political astute-
ness, western dress, signature ponytail, and
Harley Davidson motorcycle. He was even
quoted saying, “Neither George Washington
nor Thomas Jefferson wore neckties. What’s
good enough for the founding fathers of our
country is certainly good enough for me.”
He also made political history. He has been
one of only three Native Americans to serve
in the U.S. Senate, served as the only Na-
tive American during his tenure, and was
the frst in over 70 years. His infuence on
the political circuit was not just left to his
heritage, Nighthorse Campbell passed more
laws in the one hundred sixth Congress than
any member of the U.S. Senate according
to the congressional record. In fact, over his
two Senate terms, he also passed more pub-
lic laws than any previous U.S. Senator from
Finishing his term in 2005, Nighthorse
Campbell moved on and began to walk a dif-
ferent path, one he started far before any
political involvement. This path was one of
an artist and designer, a creative side that
was sparked by his father at an early age.
Now standing at the forefront of contem-
porary Native American jewelry, Northern
Cheyenne, Ben Nighthorse Campbell is a
leader and innovator once again with his
contemporary designs and unmatched stone
“I never wanted to take traditional
Navajo designs, like many do, and turn it
into something new,” Nighthorse Campbell
said. “I wanted to draw from my own
heritage, experiences and journeys to create
contemporary designs, rich in culture.”
Using only the highest quality of
materials of 18kt gold, sterling silver
and precious and semi–precious stones,
Nighthorse Campbell often does not leave
any side of his pieces untouched by design.
He draws inspiration from a conversation he
had with a fellow Native American. “You
cannot see the full beauty of the mountain”,
said Nighthorse Campbell speaking of
this conversation. “Its beauty can only be
appreciated by looking at the other side.”
With the thought that beauty is all-
encompassing and all around, he adds details,
such as symbols reminiscent to ancient rock
art, horses, bears and other animals, to the
interiors and opposite sides of many of his
pieces. Highly wearable, stylized gems, his
jewelry breaks boundaries of Southwestern
attire, often lending itself towards high
fashion couture. With each new season new
designs have debuted in both sterling silver
and coveted 18kt gold.
“Stress, long hours, and fatigue are
killers of inspiration”, Nighthorse Campbell
says of his years in public offce, “I was
getting creatively barren.” Today, he is
still involved in public policy, representing
American Indian tribes, municipalities, and
corporations on a variety of Native American
issues for the powerful Washington, DC frm
of Holland & Knight. However, life has
changed since he left the Senate. Restfully
residing on his ranch high atop a Mesa
in Southwestern Colorado, Nighthorse
Campbell is moved by a food of inspiration
that has entered his mind, unlike any other
time in his life.
For more information on Ben Nighthorse and
to see the complete Nighthorse collection, visit
100 A|c|A sept/oct 2008
Ben nighthorse campbell: (bottom left) Hidden Horse Bracelet, 18kt gold, diamonds, turquoise, lapis.
(center) Painted Mesa Bracelets, sterling silver, copper, brass, german silver. (top right) Diamond
Totem Bracelet with Turquoise & Step Up Bracelet, turquoise, lapis, diamonds.
Painted Mesa Bracelet
Wide Rock Art
Sterling Silver, Copper, Brass and
German Silver
870 Main Avenue
Durango, Colorado 81301
BncLy Mnuntuln 4rt & 4ntiques Shuw

Exhibition & Sale: November 14-16, 2008
Fine Art & Antiques Auction: Saturday, November 15

Salt Palace Convention Center. Salt Lake City. Utah
For More Information. Please Visit: www.RHartshuw.cum
Art|sts & Exh|b|tors ßooth Ava||ab|e, 6a||: 1-888-988-ART8
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BncLy Mnuntuln 4rt & 4ntiques Shuw

Exhibition & Sale: November 14-16, 2008
Fine Art & Antiques Auction: Saturday, November 15

Salt Palace Convention Center. Salt Lake City. Utah
For More Information. Please Visit: www.RHartshuw.cum
Art|sts & Exh|b|tors ßooth Ava||ab|e, 6a||: 1-888-988-ART8
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106 A|c|A sept/oct 2008
ccording to Walter Benjamin, twentieth-
century theorist and cultural historian,
“Allegories are, in the realm of thoughts, what
ruins are in the realm of things.” Yet, what causes
the ruinous nature of allegories, and why do they
function as vestiges of something that was once
whole? Perhaps, in the translation of thoughts
into the images that represent them, allegories,
by defnition, befuddle or confuse reason. Such a
translation inevitably results in a peculiar method
of stating one thing while meaning another. How
then are we supposed to understand a painting in
which the latent content is shrouded?
Without a referent for the signifer, one might
assume that the allegorical painting functions as pure
signifer, and, in the opinion of art critic Clement
Greenberg, as modern art proper. However,
one cannot detach the physical painting from its
metaphysical content. In other words, one cannot
sever the signifying connection. The modern artist
challenges his or her audience to “decipher” his or
her work. The more extreme the form, the bigger
that challenge becomes. A painting by Pollock, for
example, defes its onlooker to read a meaning into
the image. Should the viewer see the work as nothing
more than pigment upon canvas, pretty colors placed
in an amusing pattern? Or is the painting far more
cryptic? Is the meaning hidden somewhere among
the brush strokes and dabs of paint—in the ruins
of an idea which, once whole in the mind’s eye of
the artist, lays shattered into pigmented fragments?
Unfortunately, acknowledging the conundrum does
not provide a rubric. Art critics and theorists alike
remain at a loss.
In allegory, one sees the breakdown of
authorial control, of the authority of the author over
his intended meaning. This disconnect displays the
sheer materiality of the painting in general, but it
muddles the conveyance of meaning. Nevertheless,
the painting carries political, emotional, and
intellectual impact, and the ability to generate
meaning is in no way hampered. Rather, in allegory,
what one loses is not meaning—for, in fact, one
can argue that allegory multiplies meaning—but
affxation. Like the ruins of an ancient civilization,
one can only guess what each element “means”,
and this guessing game attempts to assign to
each signifer a particular referent. Yet, insofar as
archaeologists disagree, so too do art theorists and
critics. This consistent disagreement ensures that
the game of guessing has no winner, no conclusion;
by virtue of their allegorical nature, the works of
modern and contemporary art remain suspended in
time, space, and meaning.
By christopher church
christopher church is a ph.d candidate in history at the University of california at
Berkeley. he studied art history in paris.
Sculpture Objects &
Functional Art Fairs
November 7-9, Navy Pier
April 16-19, Park Avenue Armory
June 11-14, Santa Fe Convention Center
November 6-8, Navy Pier
Information and tickets






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