Thursday, January 31, 2008

Below are installation shots of Collectors Select at Arlington Arts Center. The reception for the show is tomorrow night--Friday, February 1, from 6:00pm - 9:00pm. A 44 page catalogue designed by Lisa McCarty, featuring essays from all of the collectors and images of works by their selected artists, will be available for purchase at the reception.

This is the first show at the AAC that I've shepherded along from start to finish--think of it as my coming out party as the AAC's new curator.

With this show we really wanted to challenge people's assumptions about what a community arts center is and can do.

Personally, I wanted to take advantage of one of the AAC's key assets: Space. Strictly from a standpoint of exhibition design, I wanted to create a show in which each and every one of our nine, roughly 800-square foot galleries projects a level of fit and finish appropriate to a single, self-contained commercial gallery. Not an easy goal to accomplish with a staff of five people, and a crew of dedicated but overworked volunteers...but I think the results will really surprise gallery-goers.

View from the front door.

Julian Fore's gallery; left side. From left to right: William Christenberry, Janis Goodman, John Dreyfuss.

Right side, Julian's space: Dreyfuss, Sam Gilliam, Jeffrey Smith.

Sam Gilliam's Blue Slat, courtesy of Julian's collection.

In Heather and Tony Podesta's gallery: Barbara Liotta's site specific sculpture, Ascent I. Constructed with chunks of green marble and lift cord; roughly 17' X 10' X 8'.

Steve Alterman's landscape photos; Barbara Liotta.

Another view of the Liotta piece.

Kathryn Cornelius glimpsed through the Liotta.

Hidden World photos by Kathryn.

View of Daniel Levinas's room, featuring heliographs by Leon Ferrari. These are essentialy unlimited edition mail art pieces; they arrive folded up inside an envelope; one simply unfolds them and pins them to the wall.

Yes, we did paint this entire 30' X 60' room a dark shade of raspberry. Down with white cube aesthetics!

Closeup of vitrine with signed Ferrari prints.

Another view of the Levinas/Ferrari room.

Philippa Hughes filled our Tiffany gallery with graffiti, courtesy of Tim Conlon, Bryan Conner, the SOVIET, and RAMS.

The other side of the Tiffany gallery.

Miniature graffiti for model trains.

Closeup of one of the pieces. The artists mounted blank canvases on the walls before they started working--which not only activates the surface, but also allows fragments of each piece to be sold.

View of Henry L. Thaggert's room, featuring four videos by McCallum and Tarry.

The other side of Henry's room.

Closeup of Topsy Turvy video--with late 19th/early 20th century tospy-turvy dolls installed above.

Philip Barlow's gallery. Shown here: Simon Gouverneur, Wayne Edson Bryan, Tomas Rivas.

Three meticulously, obsessively crafted pieces by Wayne Edson Bryan, hanging against a wall graphic painted by the artist himself. Wayne is in self-imposed semi-retirement--his pieces require so much time to execute that he's unwilling to paint if he can't devote around 12 hours a day to working. Maybe this show will draw him out into our midst again.

Closeup of one of Tomas Rivas's carved drywall pieces.

Two pieces by Michele Kong. I hadn't seen many of Kong's drawings or paintings before this show. Beautifully done.

Closeup of a small piece by Kong.

Also on view, but not pictured: An excellent group show for our resident artists up on the third floor, featuring our two newest residents, and a show of the print portfolio by the international artists' collective, Take Me to the River, in our community space, including prints by Maggie Michael, Billy Colbert, and a whole bunch of other follks. That, my friend, is a full evening of art.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

It's crazy time here at the AAC: They're painting all over the walls of the Tiffany gallery, and there's a sea of spray cans spread out across the floor; the 25' X 60' room across from me is all painted a deep raspberry color, floor to ceiling; there's a ten foot tall room-filling sculpture made of chunks of green marble suspended in a web of string just down the hall--and the big wooden crates just keep arriving. Probably no new posts 'til I can catch my breath--I'll be here all weekend.

Installation shots coming soon! See the official invite below:

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Attending a conference in Richmond today.

Meanwhile, you should be thinking about this:

Saturday, January 19, 2008

If Ian Jehle and Linda Hesh's 15 for Philip over at Curator’s Office proves anything, it’s that the D.C. art scene is finally developing both some self-awareness and a sense of humor. Both are overdue.

Mind you, I like self-critical impulses in art—not exercises in navel-gazing, but pieces that map both their own workings and limits and those of their immediate context with the hope of somehow exceeding them.

Whether the Barlow show really shines a bit of light on D.C. art’s personalities and market dynamics or is just a love letter from a social scene to itself is debatable. Jessica Dawson weighs in at the WaPo; Kriston chooses instead to mull over panda-related Barlow controversies, old and new, at the CP.

Me, I thoroughly enjoyed the show, even if it occasionally had the vibe of a college humor mag—alternating between cool and dorky, funny and dumb, and relentlessly inside-y overall.

Feel free to take that assessment with a grain of salt. I’m tangled up in the fates of a number of the folks in the show now, thanks to my new job. Specifically, I’m working with Phil on an exhibition at the AAC…which includes art by Kathryn Cornelius…and paintings on loan from Andrea Pollan. So much for impartiality.

This is exactly why I don’t write about galleries anymore for the CP—although if I believed what Christian Viveros-Faune over at the Village Voice said to Tyler in his interview this past week, maybe I’d ask for my old job back. You know, embracing conflict over academia and all that.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Thanks to all who came to the opening on R Street last night!

I'm sure Lenny will post photos and/or videos of the festivities soon.

Many additional thanks to Lenny for pulling the artists together, and to gallerists John Blee and Steve Lapin for being such consummate hosts.

I assume that tonight you'll be attending the reception for Mary Early's show at Georgetown, New Sculpture.

The reception runs from 5:30 to 7:00--a narrow window, yes, but I plan to be there!

Save a parking space for me.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

DCist wrote a little blurb about the show I'm in over at R Street Gallery--in Dupont Circle, at 2108 R Street, near the intersection of R and Florida.
Read it here.
The reception is this Wednesday, January 16th, from 6:00pm to 8:00pm. Come by, say hi, and stay awhile! (Yes, you can stop to see some paintings on your way to the Blonde Redhead show at the 9:30 club later that night.)
Below are some quickie installation shots:

My two pieces; a painting by John Blee

Une Balle au Coeur, acrylic and oil on canvas, 24" X 48", 2008

Me w/Lenny Campello in background

Detail of Une Balle au Coeur II

Lenny Campello

Maggie Michael; Amy Lin w/Lenny Campello in background

Maggie Michael; Amy Lin

Amy Lin

Amy Lin; Andrew Wodzianski

Friday, January 11, 2008

Here's post number one for 2008, a mere eleven days into the new year. So much for resolutions.

I'll be attending the Look! It's Phil Barlow!* show at Curator's Office this Saturday. Come by, say hi, and we'll attempt to squirm uncomfortably past one another in search of art, wine, or possibly oxygen. (If all 15 of the artists participating in the show come out for the reception, that'll be a tightly packed room at CO. There's a reason it's called a micro-gallery.)

The titular art collector will be on hand, too--so make sure to come experience the rare phenomenon of running into Philip Barlow at an art opening.

Next week I'll post about a few of the shows opening January 12th.

Pictured: Rob Parrish, 252 Works of Art Owned by Philip Barlow, video stills, 2007; James Huckenpahler, Rental, digital print, 2007

*actual title differs slightly