Monday, April 30, 2007

J. Massey Rhind

J. Massey Rhind fountain in Albany, NY...

I have to credit Paul DiPasquale, with his Arthur Ashe statue and Neptune statue, for getting me hooked on noticing how wondrous and bizarre public figure sculpture can be.

Gorgeous plaque reads: This Fountain Was Erected By Henry L. King, In Memory Of His Father, Rufus H. King, 1893. J. Massey Rhind, Sculptor.
I ran a 5K in this park on Friday... my time was 24:01, but my sister-in-law beat me by a whole minute.

The Heroes Show

I'm included in a big show called The Heroes Show, in Olympia WA, organized by Laura Sharp Wilson. The show opens May 5 at Bryce's Barber Shop and across the street at room 30, with an opening reception Saturday May 5, 6-8pm.

Some of the artists have been on anaba -

Judith Baumann - on anaba
Joy Garnett - on anaba
Josh Rickards - ADA show on anaba, radius25o show on anaba... really liked those naked hippy paintings.
Michael Lease - Chop Suey show on anaba here, Visual Arts Center of Richmond show on anaba here, Art Basel: Stuffy's show on anaba here, graduate thesis show on anaba here ... plus a maybe.
Allyson Mellberg Taylor - Nonesuch show on anaba..
Jeremy Taylor - Nonesuch show on anaba...

Some of the other artists whose names/work I'm familiar with -

Joanne Greenbaum - AWESOME painter... here's an interview with Mary Heilman.
Jenny Laden - I think she's shown at ADA...
Lump Lipschitz (Bill Thelen) - this is a Lump Gallery guy... there are a few Lump people in this show.
Laura Sharpe Wilson - the organizer of the show.

All the artists in the show (I think) -

Josh Abelow, Becca Albee, Nicole Awai, Leah Bailis, Amanda Barr, Judith Bauman, Charles Parker Boggs, Martin Bromirski,Tammy Rae Carl and Wendy Chien, Koren Christofides, Jerstin Crosby, Kimya Dawson, Julia Elsas, Paul Evans, David French, Pete Froslie, Joy Garnett, Beth Grabowski, Joanne Greenbaum, Eleanor Grosch, Harrison Haynes, Adrianne Herman, Hope Hilton, Andrew Johnson, Fay Jones, Jenny Laden, Michael Lease, Jane Marsching, Marisa Ann Martino, Hong Ngo, Paul Nudd, Ashley Oates, Beth Piver, Brian Reeves, Josh Rickards, Amie Robinson, Lisa Sheirer, elin o'hara slavick, Susanne Slavick, Carl Smith, Allyson Mellberg Taylor, Jeremy Taylor, Bill Thelen aka Lump Lipschitz, Paul Valadez, Silvia Velez, Stacey Lynn Waddell, Jeffrey Waites, Laura Sharp Wilson, Tory Wright

Bryce's Barber Shop is at 118 E. 4th Ave, downtown Olympia. Show closes June 2. Artists, or anybody, please send me some photos to post if you are able to go.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Matthew Barney

I've had this photo (update: 2 more photos) for more than a week and haven't posted it... forgot. These are photos from Matthew Barney's Long Island City performance a couple weeks ago.

Jerry Saltz describes the performance here. Above you can see the bull with the golden horns, the two bottomless girls bent over backwards, the urns, a coffin-shaped wedge of creamy sludge, and Matthew Barney wearing an apron with a little dog on top of his head.

This is a strange spring... with a lot of witchery.

Saturday, April 28, 2007


Christoph Ruckhaberle said he was into Noh, and I wondered if I'd ever posted my Noh pictures... HERE they are. This is one of the most memorable performances of my life, total magic.

Ten years ago or so I took a four-day papermaking workshop in Gifu, Japan - we did everything from scratch; pick the mulberry, boil it, grind it. Our teacher - I forget his name, unfortunately - was also a Noh master, and one night gave an impromptu performance as we all sat around the fire.

This was so intense.. his entire body is tensed up. These pictures were taken with a disposable camera, so you are seeing the burst of flash... but this was outdoors in the middle of the country, so dark, only the firelight. The sounds were insects, crackling fire, and his singing...

More pictures from the performance...

I used the washi I made in a lot of my work... some pages in Garden, the soft blanket on James' bed. Here I am in a washi kimono holding Stephan Kohler's washi umbrella. Stephan is the artist who started the Washi Survival School.

Friday, April 27, 2007

seen today...

Went to Mass Moca again today, to see The Believers. It's (generally) an excellent show... and I was there for an hour and a half but definitely not long enough to really immerse myself, so I need to go back. I thought that show would be all I needed to see, but they've also opened an Erik Van Lieshout exhibition since my last visit... I had a brief look at that, but will have to return as it also looks very good (mostly videos).

One Thing: I hadn't quite realized, until today, exactly how much Jonathan Meese, Erik Van Lieshout, and myself have in common. Waaay waay too much. I can't even get into it.

That I didn't have enough time to spend with even one of those two shows should give you an idea of how BIG that place is... and there is much more to see. Two shows I've already seen were still there - Ahistoric Occasion was in the process of being de-installed, the Adam Cvijanovic/Peter Garfield show is still up - and the MAIN SPACE remains closed because of an artist that seriously sounds like a huge prick; and I almost always side with the artist. Here are some of his demands since abandoning the project.

At an antique store I saw this nice little painting and that it's a Clyde du Vernet Hunt, which was a real surprise... and they didn't know he was the guy who did the Abraham Lincoln outside of the Bennington Museum. Um, I think it was underpriced. Maybe I shouldn't have said anything.
RELATED: Okay, maybe this isn't a Redon... pretty doubtful... but I still like it (three hundred bucks, at different store).
I saw a HUGE turkey, standing all alone in a field. His feathers were completely fanned out, but in this picture a little less. Seriously, this was one big yummy bird.
baby sheep
Saw a lot of baby sheep in Hoosick.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Mark Creegan Thumbs-Up Comment

Mark Creegan left a really nice comment on my uber page, about the Thumbs-Up Photos -

"This is one of those projects that its so wrong its right. It flies in the face of the 'professionalism' that pervades so much art worlders in its fuck-it-all attutude. It is both fun and sad, and sincere in its demonstration of approval seeking.

It's about access of product, the access you have in getting these artists to see the work, the access thru approval, and the potential access such an endorsement brings. It's meaningful in that it's meaningless. What is going on thru these artists' minds at that moment? No doubt some enjoy the work and doing this, some seem to have taken some arm twisting and must be anxious by the simplicity of it all. A "limp" thumbs up and expressionless face replaces the appropriate "congratulations on your show". Your paintings, rich serious abstract ones at that, are playing a role of interloping backdrop to some impromtu poltical positioning."

(i'm posting it here with mark's okay)

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Christoph Ruckhaberle

Christoph Ruckhaberle
Christoph Ruckhaberle at Skidmore College's Schick Art Gallery - Christoph Ruckhaberle did a month-long residency at Skidmore, followed by an exhibition of the new stuff he made.

The public was welcome to come and visit to see the work-in-progress, during special Monday-Thursday visiting hours, which I thought was pretty neat but never did... LAME.

I did go to his lecture on my birthday. Some interesting things noted:

- He doesn't use models, all of the figures are done from imagination, but he used to do a lot of life modeling in college. He recommended that the "best artist to look at if you want to organize in groups is Poussin".

- That he is "always working for shows". He isn't just making paintings and then getting a show, but rather works from one show to the next... first looking at the space, going to visit the space... THEN stretching the canvas.

- He was adamant in stating "I am not a concept artist, AT ALL". That he is not working with ideas... "that's not how I work at all".

- I'm not sure if this was in relation to a question asked about the masks, but he said that he is interested in kabuki and Noh theatre (did i ever post my Noh pictures? i think i have to).

His English is excellent, I hadn't known that he did some early undergrad work (in animation) in California.

Christoph Ruckhaberle

The person I visited the show with said that the subjects of these paintings are like "wooden figures caught in a state of time... frozen... and they are not happy".

Yeah, they do look like they are made of wood, like wooden puppets... and filled with longing.

Christoph Ruckhaberle
Three Pinocchios.

Christoph Ruckhaberle
Paint-spattered wooden dreamer.

I saw his show last year at Zach Feuer.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

gamma tech

Kai recommended Gamma Tech earlier this year, because I wanted to know a good company that makes slides from digital images.

Finally placed an on-line order to have slides made from uploaded digital images late Tuesday evening... and they arrived Thursday morning (I used the Fed Ex saver mailing option, which stated a 2-3 day delivery).


thanks, Kai.

Monday, April 23, 2007

David Shapiro

David Shapiro at Pierogi - he's constructed a miniature stageset for a pretend Rock Iraq benefit concert... it's an empty stage... no musicians, no stars... lots of corporate sponsorhip logos.

The room is quiet except for the loop of a roaring crowd... applauding with pleasure, satisfaction and triumph, calling for more. Really smart sendup... and this back-room sculpture in a hard-to-find Brooklyn gallery is an even more ineffectual statement than what it satirizes... which I guess is part of the point.

The gallery's website describes it best -

"It exists as a tabletop model to American ambiguity, assuaging guilt, displaying compassion, condemning failure, and inventing triumph."

Complicating the piece further is that the would-be purchaser is also a part of the joke... buying into the position of becoming what is criticized.

UPDATE: i keep reading this and wondering if it makes any sense. i understand what my idea is, but am not sure if it is coming across.

this piece is like the opposite of the andreas hofer experience, in that the more i think about it the more excellent and complicated it becomes.

David Shapiro

barely noticeable oil drums, army helmets, backpacks...

too good.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Sean Samoheyl

Sean Samoheyl dolls from a Chop Suey Bizarre Market, maybe like December 2005. Never got around to posting these photos... I have so many photos on my flickr set, it's crazy.

Sean is one of the artists included in this Letters show I'm in right now, so is Warren Craghead.

I really liked these dolls Sean made.. they're carved from wood, very simple and crude. Some of the ones in the Chop Suey show were wrapped in yarn.. made me think of Judith Scott... but I'm pretty sure that Sean's pieces are wrapped in yarn made from the wool of sheep he has raised himself.

Some of them have movable parts... like that Picasso skullhead's skullhead rises, and monster feet guy's feet move.

Yes, I played with them.

Gonna crush you mutha! Picasso Skullhead looks on in horror.

I wanted to buy one but they were too expensive.
TOO BAD! They could have made friends with...
Phoebe Washburn
Eric Hall
my super awesome Eric Hall home-made robot, bought at a previous Chop Suey Bizarre Market for an unbelievably low fifteen dollars (I have sadly never seen or heard of Eric Hall ever again)...
all of these tiny old little cute Japanese figures I got in Japan... this picture isn't good.
and more.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Lauren Luloff

I saw the Lauren Luloff show at Sideshow !!

This was one of the must-see shows for me, one of the shows that I had drawn big stars by in making my list of galleries I wanted to visit.... the other two were Rosalyn Drexler and Jered Sprecher.

I thought I'd blown it because when I got to Brooklyn on Thursday and picked up one of the gallery info papers I saw that so many of the good galleries I'd wanted to visit were closed on Thursdays... I DIDN'T KNOW THAT! How many frickin artists and people live in Brooklyn, and they still can't keep the galleries open? Jeez... even in Richmond you can go to any gallery almost any day.

The newspaper listed Sideshow as one of the closed galleries... so I was pissed, thinking I should have gone to a museum or somewhere other than Brooklyn. I called the telephone number anyway, but no one answered. So then I walked over there, thinking I'd at least be able to look inside the window... but when I got there I found a padlocked door and that it was impossible to see through any windows... but then a man's head appeared at one of the small high windows! LUCKY! I got in.

All of her pieces in this two-person show are wall pieces. Wooden stretchers are flat against the wall, with little wooden poles sticking out all along the frame, from which she literally strings together these pieces. It's all colored string (yarn, whatever.. stringy stuff) and fabric.. pieces of different colored and printed fabric which has been maybe painted on, torn and ripped and stretched across the wooden frames and string support.

They are visually chaotic, awkward, dangly, taut, sloppy, brokedown ruined grids...

I keep associating her work with the Alan Shields from High Times, Hard Times... the materials and grid strings mostly, but also his being really into Buckminster Fuller, imagining stuff built for future geodesic domes. The Lauren Luloff pieces have a similar of-another-mode-of-living quality for me...

Lauren Luloff
This piece has the cut-up fabric coming out from the piece and suspended from the ceiling... it sort of makes me long for a little bit more installation chaos... or maybe just a closer hanging of her stuff. Lauren's work is alternated throughout the two room gallery space with that of the other exhibiting artist, Paula Deluccia.

Lauren Luloff
Riotous nest of color and movement....

Lauren Luloff

Lauren Luloff
Now I'm thinking of spider fences and pirate ghost ships...

These would look really good in Richmond, at a place like Nonesuch or Chop Suey... I mean that in the BEST WAY.

More Lauren Luloff here...

Thursday, April 19, 2007


I'm in a show called Letters, which previews on Friday April 20th 7-8pm at The Atkinson Art Gallery, Lord St, Southport (UK).


Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Jo Baer

with Jo Baer!!!

Jo Baer at Alexander Gray - this gallery was closed when I visited, but they let me in to look, and told me to come back later for the opening... which I did and met Jo Baer!!! This was the night that Barnaby wouldn't go out with me... but I had fun anyway!

She was so great telling me about her paintings... she really moves like a dancer.

There are two big unstretched white paintings on opposite ends of the gallery... about which she said it is interesting to hear the different American and European responses - with one painting the Europeans always pick up on the gestapo, with the other painting Americans always pick up on the lynching. Talking about that lynching image, saying (something like) Marlene says why don't you make that stronger, I'd make that stronger... she was talking about her friend Marlene Dumas!

The hanging man is on the far right side of a canvas filled with leaping antelope, flamingo, a ballerina... all of it - aargh I wish I could remember her words - but all stuff of bodies stretching and reaching. She had a better description but I don't remember because my head has only stored the images of her sinking her neck into her collarbone and stretching it back out again... I didn't get it but she was being a flamingo! Her whole body was stretching and like dancing as she explained.

About her famous Artforum letter, in defense of painting... I think she is interested in blogging, or at least in being able to update the textual parts of her site whenever she wants. Someone is working on that with her. Make sure you check out the "book" section of her website....

I need to find and scan in her other famous essay... "I Am No Longer an Abstract Artist."

Jo Baer opening
from left: Joan Jonas, Judith Stein, Jo Baer, unknown, Steve Kaplan, nice gallery staff, Alexander Gray.

The opening was on a rainy weeknight, so not a huge turnout... but I met Joan Jonas and got to thank David Reed for his part in putting together High Times, Hard Times (Baer was in that show).

Best surprise was getting to see Judith Stein again... she is so awesome. Nobody looks at and talks about art like she can... super intense, smart, and focused - but in a kind-of dreamy way. Judith did this very good interview with Baer. It was funny... in that room were two previous thumbs-uppers (Kaplan and Stein), and one previous refusal (Reed).

Wow.. I just found this archive of Stein essays from her Morris Gallery years.

Philip Akkerman, Michael St. John.... PLUS

Michael St. John at Marvelli - Think I especially liked the room of fourteen small Negroes with Guns paintings.... inspired by an important book with that title (they are book-size).

Michael St. John
Plastic over stretchers and wooden Guston clock...

the next day in Brooklyn - at Sideshow - the guy showed me a small Lauren Luloff painting on something see-through... looked so good held up to the window, with the light coming through.

Philip Akkerman at BravinLee - Wish I'd spent more time here...

Philip Akkerman


regretfully missed:

Ludwig Schwarz at Sunday
James Ensor at Peter Freeman
Paul Thek at somewhere around Chelsea
Giant Robot show somewhere...
Philip Pearlstein somewhere in Chelsea

regretfully went out of my way to see:

33 Bond Gallery - but i won't give up... it was "on my radar" for some reason. ugh, i hate that expression.

strangest coincidence:

running into a really nice Pat Lipsky, who showed me her studio, and finding out that she once LIVED IN HOOSICK FALLS for a short time!!! FREAKY.

most strikingly similar critical sensibility:

Roberta Smith and I both compared Jim Turrel negatively to Roy Colmer... BUT I DID IT FIRST!! (if I was Tyler Green I would have made a special post announcing that, ha ha. TRUE.)

He has an interesting look at George Cope and Marsden Hartley today

more that should have been posted with the other yucks, snoozes, and so-whats:

Pierre Bismuth
Jim Turrell
Teresita Fernandez
Rirkrit Tiravanija

Monday, April 16, 2007

Charles Steffen

Charles Steffen
Charles Steffen at Andrew Edlin - Never heard of this artist, but really loved his work... all of it drawings on paper.

The piece pictured above includes text reading - "giant drawing, sunflower nude standing in front of a red chair, holding a sunflower, front and back...".

All of the pieces are full of text, thoughts and descriptions.

Steffen had just started art school in 1949... but soon after began to hear voices, had a breakdown, and was institutionalized until 1963. When he was better he moved back in with his large Chicago family (he was the oldest of eight children), making two or three drawings a day for the next thirty+ years, which were periodically thrown away by the family as they piled up.... only drawings from 1989-1994 survive, saved by a nephew. Steffen died of throat cancer in 1995.

This one is a standing nude in blue and white, with pink highlights... she's kind of goofy-sweet looking.... with text which partially reads - "inspired by alisha the girl next door, thirty one years old, she does not know about this, i don't dare tell her, deals in real estate for a living...".

Most of the drawings are of nudes and family members, almost all the figures female, many drawn from life. They are grotesque, they look boneless, with some so heavily contoured it's like you can see their musculature, but they don't feel creepy or misogynistic. Lots of flowers and smiles and loving vibes...

There is one portrait of a woman sitting in a chair, wearing a sweater over a turtleneck, she actually looks kind of hideous.... it reads - "portrait of my sister sitting in her bedroom rocking chair, a good drawing, it looks just like her... god bless her soul, she is a good sister, it took two hours to complete".

I like this little moonlit(?) alien landscape, two figures meeting at a flower, drawn on eight pieces of scotch-taped notebook paper.

Interesting to think of Steffen making these almost completely unknown works for thirty-plus years, with fellow Chicago artist Henry Darger working on some of his secret stuff at the same time. How many unknown others?

Darger in hospital, knowing he wouldn't ever return home, instructed his landlord to throw everything away (didn't he?)... but the landlord was an artist and once he saw Darger's fantasy art he had to save it. I kind of wanted to bring up Darger with Lisa Ruyter in this thread, ask what she about that...

The Charles Steffen show is open until May 5th.

Sunday, April 15, 2007


spider fence.

seen from Priska Juschka window.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

people doing things

- Vittorio Colaizzi, the Richmond artist who wrote my awesome AN ASSAULT ON TASTE review, has had a painting article posted here. Thanks, Vaughn.

- James Kalm's youtube visit to the Dana Schutz opening... TOM SANFORD SIGHTING!!!! Dig that sweet hairdo. Plus... Michael Anderson, Dana Schutz, Zach Feuer, i don't know who else...

Did she paint a portrait of a young, ink-stained Mike Kelley? Kind of looks like him, dreaming in the grass. That one with the figure in the phone booth(?) - wiping dust off the glass - looks nice.

PLUS - Timothy Michael Martin and Billie Waite had a BABY on Thursday!!! Her name is Kathryn Grey Martin.

Andreas Hofer

Andreas Hofer at Metro Pictures - this was the first show, and I think maybe only show, at which I walked in and said "weeeird"... which for me is a good thing. This room had all of these small paintings hanging on trees... and there was also a big wooden cabinet on the right with huge bat wings.

Andreas Hofer
They are signed Andy Hope... not the artist's name. I'm not sure why.

(i actually did that for a short while, signed my "paintings" Wygarbowac.... that was Garbo's real name... i was partly thinking about transformation, hiding, lying, positive spin, celebrity, being delusional... not that i do that anymore. ha ha.)

Lots of superhero/teutonic stuff... maybe it even hits you over the head with it all a little too much. Good paintings, but there isn't really much to wonder about afterwards.... although I guess it is hard to be subtle and reference the Guardians of the Universe, and facism.

Maybe if I didn't know so much about comic books these would have had a little more mystery.

Update: I enjoyed this show, but the first impression is wearing off, and I'm not left with enough.

Jack Kirby Power Activate!!! - if you go, make sure you see the second floor.

ahhh... that bird symbol makes me think of my Hell Camp days...
jigoku no kunren!!!
sweet memories...

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

THE photo of the first week of April, 2007... PLUS: a brief report on some Chelsea yucks, snoozes, and so-whats

Saw this Mitch Epstein photo like 4 different times in one week... first I saw it on Tyler's blog, then I saw it on Paddy's blog, then I saw it in the exhibition at Sikkema Jenkins (briefly, because the show was a snooze).... THEN, I saw this HUGE one at night in a big window.

This big one was the best, because the photo already had such a stageset feel... seeing it in those footlights at real backdrop size seems right. Plus - the daytime photo, spotlit, at NIGHT... something about all that... I like the two opposing light sources, the sun vs. the spotlights... makes the picture more eerie.

Constable and Pisarro are both tooo much of a stretch for me, sorry. Maybe X-Files, okay.

Some Chelsea YUCK!s, SNOOZEs and So-Whats -


Julie Evans at Julie Saul - they were GUSHING over these paintings on Winkleman's blog... they make me feel ill.

Christopher Tanner at Pavel Zoubok - i vomited. which sucks, because i like zoubok's john evans and lanigan-schmidt, so i was hoping this would be a good one.

Susanne Kuhn at Goff + Rosenthal - i can't decide if this is a yuck, a snooze, or a so-what.


Borf video at eyebeam - oooo, look at me push over a port-a-potty. i'm a bad boy. look at me. hey, you're not looking at me! please pet me.

(this one is a snooze/so-what)


Amy Cutler at Leslie Tonkonow

group show at CRG - i tried to get into them, but failed. Tomory Dodge is definitely better than last time... in 7/2005 i liked Dufresne's small pieces at Monya Rowe better than the big ones at Lehmann Maupin; the pieces here are all big. maybe she was my favorite in the show (?).

all four of them are okay, but they all remind of someone else (in a negative way), and all of them seem to be missing something... a spark or something.

Torben Giehler at Leo Koenig - BUMMer when you go to a gallery prepared to really like whatever they are showing... and it is a snooze. my bad timing.

um... some are okay from far away?

group show at Alona Kagan - (can't find it on-line)
Saeko Takagi at ATM - maybe with a second visit i would like it more?

Elliot Hundley at Andrea Rosen - i'm almost there... but again, that spark.


Lamar Peterson
Lamar Peterson at Freericks & Frieser - some weird stuff happening.

UPDATE: i've decided i really like it.

Josh Smith
Josh Smith at Luhring Augustine- some are seriously unbelievably horrible yuck/so-whats, but a few are interesting(?).