Thursday, December 23, 2010

Elizabeth Kendall show at GRACE

My friend and fellow ceramic sculptor, Elizabeth Kendall has a stunning new solo show, Double Sleyed, at the Greater Reston Arts Center this December. Go see it before it ends!

I work with lush white porcelain and dense textured black clay using tools and processes that are familiar to the kitchen, the sewing room, and the clay studio. Inspired by personal memories and family stories, the shapes that emerge are an ongoing conversation between my hand and my material as well as a response to the space in which they are installed. Borrowing a weaver’s term, the work is “Double Sleyed,” where two threads exist side-by-side in the same space.
Shadow does not exist without light. Volume requires line. Something has to have been present for its absence to be felt.
In life as with art, there is more than one side to any story, more than one answer to a question. My sculptures can be bricks and windows, walls and archways. They frame a story and are a story in their own right.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Art Basel Continued!

Day two in Miami was spent exploring more of the satellite art fairs and happenings.

In the morning we attended Just Right, an interactive food installation by Jennifer Rubell at the Rubell Family Collection/ Contemporary Arts Foundation. Visitors climbed through a hole in the wall of the back of the museum garden and traversed an empty lot to an abandoned house. Based on the tale of Goldilocks, in each room were items needed to fix the perfect bowl of oatmeal, um, I mean, porridge. Visitors were invited to make a bowl of oatmeal to their liking and enjoy.

Nearby, were four fairs: Art Miami, Red Dot, Art Asia and Scope.

At Art Miami, I found two artists of note.
One was my friend and studio neighbor, Tim Tate, whose video and glass reliquaries were exquisite as always.

We also saw this huge, fantastical mixed media installation by Federico Uribe:

At Red Dot, we visited the gallery booth of one of my favorite bloggers and art critics, Lenny Campello, whom many of you know as the writer of the influential and widely read DC Art News.
He had some great works in the booth, notably a few of his own works, as well as that of Judith Peck,  a fabulous local painter.

Lenny Campello

Work by Judith Peck

One of the most powerful exhibitions was by Beth Cavener Stichter, whose work I find to be some of the most darkly compelling work being done  in contemporary ceramic sculpture today.

It was also great to see a Deborah Butterfield horse outside of a museum.

At Art Asia were three breathtaking installations:

From the exquisite to the absurd at Scope!

This huge six foot before and after popsicle made me laugh out loud!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Art Basel In Miami

Chris and I decided to take a weekend off  in the beginning of December, to attend Art Art Basel Miami.
Art Basel Miami is an international art show featuring over 250 leading art galleries from North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia and Africa exhibiting 20th and 21st century artworks by over 2,000 artists.
It takes place in the historic Art Deco district and is an overwhelmingly massive art show.
I found that most of the artwork was not to my taste but there were a few absolute treasures that made the
Featured prominently by the gallery Shanghart , was a Chinese artist named Sun Xun, born in 1980 in Liaoning Province. His illustrations and animations had the most magical steampunkery imagery:

One of the best parts of the show was the opportunity to see works by modern masters outside of a museum setting. Calder is one of my favorite artists and numerous galleries carried his work. As I passed by this gigantic one,  I overheard a man ask the gallerist if it could be painted 
a different color to match his house. 
Joking? Let's hope!!

I found very few ceramics in the show. One piece I loved was at Tilton Gallery. A suspended sculpture by Simone Leigh entitled Emperor Jones, it featured ceramic pods fired in a raku crackle white glaze, with clear blown pods filled with graphite.

And last but not least, I loved the absurdity of these installations of palm trees and turf within the building- 

and that people were actually treating them as they would a small public park!

The best part of the weekend in Miami, though, were the small independent satellite fairs. My fave was 
Aqua Art Miami , which takes place in a small funky hotel in South Beach. Galleries took over each hotel room, which ringed a large palm tree filled courtyard. I found the artwork featured by the galleries there to be much more interesting and accessible, and dare I say it- current!!

Based in Seattle, Aqua's organizers have made it their mission to promote innovative programming from the west coast as well as the greater USA and abroad, with a particular interest in young dealers and galleries with strong emerging artist programs.

Innovative book works at Donna Seager Gallery

Krause Gallery was featuring Rob Tarbell, one of my favorite artists ever since we had a two-person show together a few years ago. Please check out his website, these unearthly works are made with smoke marks on paper. Yes, you read that right- smoke!!

More tomorrow!