Thursday, August 04, 2016

Images of Travel: Greg Drasler at Betty Cunningham, Chinese Painting at the Met, Splotch at Sperone Westwater

Greg Drasler at Betty Cunningham: Road Trip (closes August 5th)
Images and press release here: Gallery Link

Like scrolls, these paintings are too long to take in at once and must be followed sequentially.

The patterns function as reflections, mirages, stoplights seen in passing, setting suns. They also add Modernist unity to the visualization of movement.

There is something so viscerally satisfying about cobbling space together in shapes.

Similar to how JoAnne Carson assemble forms in her paintings at Wave Hill, though Carson and Drasler are coming from very different places as artists, they share a sense of the graphic, the cartoon, Carson directly and Drasler less so. Really loved this show. Quiet, like the hum of the car on the road after hours and hours of driving - but filled with information beyond the windshield. 

Masterpieces of Chinese Painting at the Metropolitan Museum, Round 2 (through October 2016).
Link to Met exhibition
This is Song Dynasty master Guo Shi's Old Trees, Level Distance, made for a retiring government official. Of this, Feng Zizhen wrote,
"Layered mists and dense fogs obscure pavilions;
Sandy islets overlook the desolate expanse.
The old tree's spirit will last a thousand years;
The moist washes and the manner (of the trees)
are as enduring as metal and rock.
Amid the duckwee of misty islands, skiffs moor
for the night,
And still along the cold river bamboo grows.
Of the honorable Guo's level vistas, few remain.
how treasured the master-painters works should be!"

Sequence of images - starting bottom up - landscape in snow

Yuan Dynasty powerhouse Zhao Mengfu's Twin Pines, Level Distance (1310-ish). Here, according to the didactic panels, Mengu re-interprets Guo Xi's Old Trees, Level Distance, replacing the wash with more attentiveness to brushwork. No matter the circumstance his balance of wet and dry applications,  delicacy of form intoxicates!

Splotch at Sperone Westwater, curated by Eileen Jeng Lynch. This widely-covered exhibition is a beauty. This exhibition is held in two locations, at Sperone, and Lesley Heller Workspace. Though I have a painting in the LHWS exhibition, I feel the two shows are quite separate. Entering this show, however, after seeing the LHWS show gave a stronger grasp of the curator's vision. Described elsewhere as undisciplined, I could not agree less about her juxtapositions as such. Rather, they are surprising, initially understated but actually quite obsessive or wild in their application. The theme focuses on material application as a tightrope between chance and intention. Link to the Sperone Westwater show is here: Gallery Link

Is this Takashada Matsutani?
In any case a beautiful detail of the painting above, which looks as if the ink is blown through straws. Just imagine what it took to create this canvas.

Moving into the exhibition with elegant, subtle works that possess an undercurrent ofwildness in their process~
Nicole Awai in the back
Foregrounded by Lynda Benglis in the front, a felicitous linkage!
Overview from front. Much better experienced in the reals than in this photo, but wonderful - observe the Mary Heilman "splotches" on the top right of the back front room wall.
Two views of the room with a lovely Terry Winters immediately to the left

And reversing, a Lucky de Bellevue wall installation behind
With this subtle beauty between. I'll be happy to add the artist - working without a list.
David Reed's working drawing, turning over the potential of the reds from every angle. A fascinating read with no pun intended.
The linkages and surprises continue all the way to the end, with Sol LeWitt's Splotch #3 on right and Keltie Ferris to the left. We have much to thank LeWitt for, after the Eva Hesse film in May and now Splotch - his ideas remain fresh and unfolding for our times.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Algae Blooms at Central Marina, Stuart, FL

En route to Boca Raton Museum's All Florida exhibition on Florida's East Coast I made an impromptu visit to the Central Marina. The Stuart Park Coast Guards told me the Marina's lack of water circulation created a holding tank for algae caused by runoff from chemicals used in farming, such as pesticides, that infiltrate the water and change its composition.

The lurid green is beautiful, like a paint pour - an aesthetic prompt  for the alarming reality that to breathe this stuff is toxic in the extreme. Its stench equals formaldehyde in a dissection room.

The algae forms a sticky muck,  untenable for breathing.

Inhabited by bugs and flying creatures.

Stagnation meets fresh water.
The Anthropocene Age must redefine the balance of human presence in nature  as our points of intersection become increasingly synthetic.

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Summer Vacation?

Farewell, Hudson River, on a balmy NY night.

Stonehouse wrote, "We blossom and fade like flowers/

We gather and part like clouds/

earthly thoughts I forgot long ago/withering away on a mountain peak."
From the Zen Works of Stonehouse, Poems and Talks of a 14th century Chinese Hermit, translated by Red Pine.
Image: Japanese ink painting, Museum of Contemporary Art, St. Petersburg

But here in Paradise it's not poured but blooming:
Screenshot from petition to Publix re: no sugar product purchase

"Below high cliffs
unaware of the source
wherever you turn is karma
chaos and confusion
in order to see the truth/look beyond your senses
it's always been this way/the spring flows all around you."

"Below high cliffs
serene in solitude
not visited by time
the mind creates the world
the window holds a setting moon
the stove contains a dying fire
pity the sleeping man
startled from his butterfly dream."

"Below high cliffs
you eat and sleep your fill
indulge desire and lethargy
idle away the months and years
until old age and illness arrive
and a thousand pains afflict you
digging a well when you're thirsty
you endure heat in vain."