Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Effort Distance

Jen Nazzaro, How Effort and Distance are Linked
Charcoal, graphite and crayon on paper, 22x30"

One of my favorite people is showing her new drawings in the Schlosberg Gallery at Montserrat this month. Jen Nazzaro's ethereal landscapes are created within a narrow color palette of black, grays and whites. Nevertheless, she is able to create a tremendously rich surface through exquisite mark making using charcoal and graphite.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Beauty Looks Great Over Your Couch

Brian Ulrich, Untitled_Thrift, Toys, 2006

Chicago-based photographer Brian Ulrich visited Montserrat on Nov. 29th and 30th. He participated in A Contemporary Cocktail a casual evening event and gave a great lecture on his work. He spoke of consumerism, social messages in his work (yes, they are there and he is not afraid to say so) and the role of beauty. We talked about how beauty is back. After being a dirty word in the art world for so long, it now again is an acceptable, perhaps even desirable adjective when describing someone's work. To which Brian replied in a deadpan voice, " Yeah, beauty looks great over your couch." He is right of course, beauty sells. He and I discussed the new 'arty' photography coming out of Germany these days, (his participation in) Art Basel, and the state of the art-world. His next project will focus on high end consumerism, specifically on the the art world it self.

Brian's work is on view in the Montserrat Gallery through February 2nd in the exhibit Cornucopia: Documenting the Land of Plenty. Email me if you would like an exhibit catalogue mailed to you.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Mystical Visions, Cosmic Vibrations, and Revolutionary Dreams

Kamrooz Aram visited campus this week in conjunction with the exhibit Merging Influence: Eastern Elements in New American Art. He gave a gallery talk on Thursday lunchtime and later that night participated in A Contemporary Cocktail, where he was interviewed by Curator Shana Dumont. Aram spoke eloquently about the New York art world, art fairs, and his experience as a contemporary artist. In discussing his own work he talked of content versus process, the power of beauty, the importance of authenticity, and spectacle. In addition to his incredibly rich paintings, the artist also creates impressive micro-pen drawings. A number of which will be on view at the NADA Art Fair in conjunction with the 2007 Art Basel:Miami.

The Gleam of the Morning's First Beam, 2005, Oil and stickers on canvas 84 x 120 inches

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Starlings, Spheres and Sequences

Anna Hepler, Fall, Scatter, Float, DeCordova Annual, 2006

"Galleries are stores for art. Chelsea is a mall." Anna Hepler

Hepler was a Visiting Artist today at Montserrat College of Art where she spoke very eloquently about contemporary art making. Obsessed with swarms and the movement of particles suspended in space, Hepler uses simple materials to create sophisticated prints, drawings, and three dimensional spatial constructs. In addition, she de-constructed her own creative process and asked critical questions about the art world and what it means to be an artist in our society today. Her advice for artists is to follow every path of inquiry even if it takes you outside of the realm of art making, for you never know where it lead you or your work.

Art in Lawrence

Nina Wishnok, "Trace People I" 2006, 11" x 11" woodblock, paper lithography
Visited Lawrence, MA yesterday. Essex Art Center has a great print show up of work by Nina Wishnok. Curator Cathy McLaurin is fantastic, we had a great tour of the complex. She really is an inspiring individual. Her own artwork was on view in the Swaddled Babies and Dead Animals exhibit at the artist building on Canal St. (250 Canal street, Lawrence). A collaborative project with artist Gayle Caruso, the exhibit is up until October 12. Lawrence seems like a great place to have a studio, affordable rates and gorgeous mill buildings.

Caruso/McLaurin, Swaddled Babies, Mixed media Installation, 2007

Caruso/McLaurin, Swaddled Babies, Mixed media Installation, detail, 2007

The other great encounter I had today was with the Dutch Independent Curator Femke Lutgerink. She came to visit Senior Seminar at Montserrat College of Art today. She has a unique gift for organizing and finding talented individuals and collaborating with them to create new and often experimental art work. Definitely someone to watch!