Monday, September 24, 2007

Here's an article from the C-ville weekly about the comic strip controversy that's been brewing at the Cavalier Daily, my alma mater's student newspaper.

Is former graphics editor/cartoonist Grant Woolard a racist? Probably not. Is the cartoon that got him into trouble dopey and culturally myopic? Oh, definitely. (The joke, in a nutshell: Ethiopians + hunger = funny).

I'm not interested in defending Woolard's strip. But I am interested in how the battle lines get drawn when these sorts of conflicts erupt in student-run media.

Scroll down and read the comments of my friend Jen Sorensen, who draws the alt-weekly strip Slowpoke.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Matthew found this illuminating interview with Chip Richardson.

Plenty of images, and some nice insights--although it reads a bit like a conversation that took place through e-mails, not face-to-face. I don't know about you, but I don't often speak in block quotes.

Chip, of course, directed my thesis at Maryland, and, as undergraduate director, was one of my bosses for a few years there.

I have to say, though, as much as he helped form my ideas about painting, our conversations tended to steer clear of, say, pictorial space and intuitive encounters with color. Mostly I remember his thoughts on martial arts movies and Miles Davis--useful stuff, to be sure--and the smell of his cheap little cigars.

Which is probably another reason why the interview seems a little stilted to me.

I'm guessing Chip thinks I've gone over to The Dark Side since my days working with him--project work? Video? Narrative?? Good heavens.

Maybe I need to get in front of an easel again. It's been awhile.

Say, remember those 22' long, 300-lb posts that were supposed to go up yesterday at the AAC? Well, they didn't. A radical re-think occurred onsite, and now we're going to use a different method--lighter, more flexible. The way we should've done it in the first place.

So if you happen to need $3000.00 worth of pressure treated lumber, stop by. Bring your checkbook...and your forklift.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

This week, we're installing Rosemary Covey's 0 Project at the AAC.

On Wednesday, with the help of two Truly Amazing Volunteers, I'll be sinking 22' tall posts in the ground and attaching them to the building with Very Long Screws. (I made my first serious tool purchase for the AAC yesterday: A hammer drill. I'm starting to feel like a sculptor here.)

On Thursday, we'll be attaching the 300' long 0 banner to the posts with staples.

If you'd like to stop by and lend a hand--or just gawk, or maybe call an ambulance when I fall out of the cherry picker--well, go ahead and do that. I'll be happy to hand you a staple gun.

I've had plenty of good advice, much of which I've been unable to take: The AAC's housed in an historic building, and there are only so many holes you can make in its facade, as it turns out.

I'm also working on a review of the Hopper show at the NGA for next week's CP...and figuring out how to play the Star Wars theme on guitar for a friend's wedding.

Oh, and trying to learn a little bit of German. I'll be in Aachen in far, I can ask where the campground is, or what kind of music they'll be playing at the discotheque. Both of these are good things to know.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Lenny posted today about the Maier controversy.

That's quite a press release.

Expect an article in the Lynchburg News and Advance tomorrow about the eleven people who've just filed legal action against Randolph.

Oh, and I've also heard that there'll be an article in the Washington Post later this week--in case you're not an Advance subscriber.

Monday, September 10, 2007

For some reason, I haven't been following this...but Richard Lacayo's been writing about my favorite hometown art museum, Randolph College's (formerly Randolph Macon Women's College) Maier museum in Lynchburg, Virginia.

As you may or may not know, I grew up in Lynchburg. The Maier consistently opened my eyes: Before ever setting foot in a gallery in D.C. or N.Y., I saw work at the Maier from artists like Arthur Dove, George Bellows, Edward Hopper, Philip Guston, Robert Rauschenberg, Philip Pearlstein--much of which was in their permanent collection. Impressive, I think, for a little town like Lynchburg.

So this story understandably makes me nervous.
Pictured: Arthur Dove, Cow #1, 1935, tempera on canvas, 15 1/8 in. x 21 1/8 in. From the Maier's collection.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Come by the Arlington Arts Center tonight for our reception celebrating Aachen to Arlington: Imaging the Distance. The reception runs from 6:00 to 9:00, or thereabouts.

What's that? You'll be attending one of the other 8,000 or so openings in D.C. running at exactly the same time? Phooey. I'll bet none of those folks flew in a bunch of genuinely German artists for you to hobknob with--hey, you can probably hang out in the parking lot with them while they smoke cigarettes and act all world weary and stuff.

Seriously, though, the Germans will be in attendance, as will their curator. From the press release:

Curator Harald Kunde—Director of the Ludwig Forum für Internationale Kunst—will be on hand to answer questions, along with the five artists he selected, all of whom live and work in and around Aachen:

Tobias Danke, a sculptor who creates ersatz objects using industrial materials, including resin, flourescent bulbs, and styrofoam

Irmel Kamp-Bandau and Andreas Magdanz, two photographers who examine disused modernist architecture, from Bauhaus remnants to abandoned cold war bomb shelters

Stephan Mörsch, a sculptor and draftsman who, with pencil drawings and models of guard towers, maps the Huertgenwald, a forest near Aachen where almost 70,000 American soldiers were killed between 1944 and 1945

Hans Niehus, a representational painter who, with tightly rendered humorous images of artworld notables like Marcel Duchamp and Josef Beuys, explores the idea of celebrity in the German art world

Also in attendance will be a number of the Arlington artists featured in the show that's traveling to Aachen in November. You can see a small preview show of their work downstairs in the Truland gallery.

Hope to see you there!

Pictured: Works by Andreas Magdanz, Hans Niehus, and Irmel Kamp-Bandau

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

As you probably know by now, Conner Contemporary is moving to the H Street corridor--or whatever you call that area.

Read about it on the Conner website here, or read Kriston's article in the Express here.

Sounds like it'll be a big, beautiful space--the largest commercial art gallery in the District, according to Kriston.

But: "If she builds it," he asks, "will they come?"

Maybe she can lure them in with wine and cheese.

Say, what have I been doing? Well, I celebrated a birthday. And I went to New York over the weekend--saw Richard Serra at the MoMA, finally, and Stephen Shore at the International Center of Photography.

If I get a moment--and I've had precious few of those of late--I'll tell you all about it later.