Sunday, September 30, 2012

James Whistler, LA County Museum of Art

James Whistler, USA - A Review by Kris Westreich

 Nocturne - Palaces, etching, 1879
The prints in this exhibition were wonderful. They allowed the viewer to trace his artistic development through his etchings. At the beginning, things were tightly rendered and detail-filled. Towards the end, the prints tend to describe through suggestion rather than detail. One thing I saw that I never considered was the way Whistler used the plate tone to establish value. He will leave more plate tone in an area that he wants to be darker and wipe out others that he wants to be lighter. In this way he challenges the idea of a print having to be exactly the same each time. My two favorites of the exhibition were “Nocturne: Palaces” and “Weary.” They both tend to put more detail in certain parts of the print, and leave others as merely outlines or as indications rather than full-blown descriptions.  Some of them almost approach an abstract emptiness, such as in “Old Battersea” bridge. Of course, the draftsmanship present is also very accomplished in these etchings.

Under Old Battersea Bridge, etching and drypoint, 1879

The German Woodcut: Renaissance and Expressionist Revival

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Geramny, 1909, Woodcut, Bathers Tossing Reeds

May 5, 2012–September 9, 2012, LA County Museum of Art
A Review by Kris Westreich

I thought this exhibition was particularly successful. Not only was the quality of the work superb, but also the way they displayed it demonstrated the distinctly German characteristics of these modern artists. By displaying those prints next to German Renaissance artists, the exhibition links together the traditions of the medium across generations. I was particularly taken with Kirchner's prints Bathers Tossing Reeds and Portrait of Ludwig Schames as well as the Kollwitz prints.

Hans Baldung Grien, Germany, Woodcut, 1534, Stallion and Kicking Mare with Wild Horses

Technically, it was interesting to note the difference between the modern and renaissance artists. The old master prints tend to lean more towards chiaroscuro and graduated value distribution. In order to achieve that, the artists had to work on minute details, such as in Stallion and Kicking Mare with Wild Horses by Hans Baldung Grien.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Character and Crisis - Printmaking in America: 1920 - 1950

Reginald Marsh, USA, 1932, Etching, Bread Line

This historical exhibition is running at the San Diego Museum of Art, 5998 Alcalá Park, until 12/14/12. Located in the Robert and Karen Hoehn Family Galleries, the exhibition is free of charge, and also features the work of Edward Hopper. Call 619/260-4545 for hours of operation and other information.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Photo of Alex Gardner's ink drawing by Mariya Suzuki

Alex Petty is currently using skin as a canvas in San Francisco, as may be deduced from this drawing.
Barefeet - A Drawing Show is currently up in Long Beach at the laid back vino bar, 4th Street Vine, 2142 East 4th Street. The exhibition, curated by my former student Mariya Suzuki, features a roster of other artists, & includes her drawings of area stores & their respective merchandise. I've included photos of work by Alex Gardner & Alex Petty, who I was also fortunate enough to have had in my class/es. The work will grace the brick walls until 10/18, but I imagine that the venue doesn't open until later in the day.

Santa Monica Auctions, located currently in the B-7 & C-2 spaces in Bergamot Station allegedly has some handsome James Rosenquist prints currently on view. I'm not certain of the screenprint above, titled For the Young Artist (1991), being one of them, but word in the studio is that there are some impressively large prints on display. The phone number to call for further information is: 310/586-9128, & the address is 2525 Michigan Avenue.
I've included one of the past highlights from the last auction, Andy Warhol's Mao, a screenprint from 1972. Apparently, the auction coming up on 11/12 will be their last one in this space, as the "C" building is being demolished to make way for the Metro train line.
Above image - Helen Frankenthaler, Tales of Genji VI, woodcut, 1997

Several prints are currently on display in New Acquisitions, a show at Leslie Sacks Fine Arts, 11640 San Vicente Blvd., Los Angeles. Along with Helen Frankenthaler, at least a couple of David Hockney works are also on display. One is a highly chromatic lithograph - "depicting a hotel he stopped at in Mexico, Hotel Acatlan: Second Day, that’s housed in a hand-made frame designed by the artist; and another of his muse Celia Birtwell, Big Celia Print #1. " The latter print can also be seen by appt., in the Special Collections room of the CSULB library.
This exhibition closes in just a few days (on 9/24), and is open from 10 - 6PM, Monday through Saturday. For more info, call 310/820-9448.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

"Zarina - Paper Like Skin," opens at The Hammer Museum, 9/30

Above, a relief print from 1970, matrix collaged wood

Zarina: Paper Like Skin is the first retrospective of the Indian-born American artist Zarina, featuring approximately 60 works dating from 1961 to the present. Paper is central to Zarina’s practice, both as a surface to print on and as a material with its own properties and history. Works in the exhibition include woodcuts as well as three-dimensional casts in paper pulp. Zarina’s vocabulary is minimal yet rich in associations with her life and the themes of displacement and exile. The concept of home—whether personal, geographic, national, spiritual, or familial—resonates throughout her oeuvre. Organized by Allegra Pesenti, curator, Grunwald Center for the Graphic Arts.

This exhibition of prints & works made of paper will continue at the Hammer until 12/30/12, with "A Conversation with Zarina" to take place at 2:00 PM in the gallery on the day of the opening, 9/30. Free to students with an ID, the Hammer is located in Westwood, at 10899 Wilshire Blvd., 310/443-7000. Hours are Tues. - Fri., 11 - 8PM & weekends, 11 - 5PM.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Linda Day: "Swimming in Paint" and Patrick Wilson: "Pull"

Above - Linda Day's studio space.

These two tandem exhibitions at the UAM beautifully complement each other, in terms of abstraction and color certainly, but also in terms of materiality & perception. If I were to make a musical analogy, Wilson's cool and structural offerings would be akin to David Hykes' harmonic investigations, especially in terms of layering form and structure. Linda's presence is so strongly in her work, as Chris Miles observed, " the bit-streams, blobs, piles and upwellings; and in the stray words that turn up in her last works - I realize that as Day transubstantiated being into painting, she always had a goal of freshly addressing something with which she grappled." 

There are a number of works on paper or Duralar - in Linda's work, mainly in terms of gouache and pencil, whereas Patrick Wilson used screen-printing in a group titled: Suite for Mt. Washington, from 2007. When we (printmakers) physically make a print, especially a screen-print, we call it "pulling" an edition, and I couldn't help but wonder if that term influenced the description of his painterly investigations.

It was wonderful seeing so many of Linda's former students, colleagues and friends at the opening. A big shout-out to curator Kristina Newhouse for yeoman's duty in writing, organizing, & researching for both offerings. These shows run until 12/9. The University Art Museum is closed on Mondays, hours, parking and directions can be had by calling them directly at: 562/985-5761.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Narcolandia: A Visual Dialogue Between San Francisco and LA Artists

The three-run silkscreen print above is by artist John Minor

While this exhibition already opened on 9/5, the opening reception will take place on 9/15, from 6 - 10 PM. The venue is the Coagula Curatorial space located at 977 Chung King Road in Los Angeles. Two of my former students, Jennifer Gutierrez Morgan & Matt Thomason are among others representing LA. The excellent relief printmaker Txutxo Perez is one of the San Francisco faction. For further info on gallery hours, call 213/620-1569.

Agnes Denes: Body Prints, Philosophical Drawings & Map Projections, 1969 - 1978

Above image: Napoleonic Series: Investigation of World Rulers II, finger-printing ink on IBM chart with highlighted areas

This exhibition (in Project Room 2) runs from 9/15 - 12/22, with the opening reception on Friday, 9/14, from 7 - 9 PM. Admission with student ID is $3.00.

The Santa Monica Museum of Art is now located within the Bergamot Station Art Complex, G1, 2525 Michigan Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90404

Sea of Exchange: Ireland - Los Angeles

The exhibition runs from 9/18 - 11/1, with the opening on 9/19, from 5 - 8:30 PM

Pacific Design Center, Suite B 273
8687 Melrose Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90069

Tuesday - Friday 12:00 - 5:00 and by appointment

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Amie Rangel's Solo Exhibition at Arts Visalia

In October of 2012, Arts Visalia will present The Whey (way) n., to Center, a major solo exhibition by artist Amie T. Rangel. This exhibition will unveil a major new group of works developed over the past year in which Rangel has explored the interior space and atmosphere of a Central California dairy facility. Rooted in the traditional practice of observational drawing, Rangel's lastest works transend representation, extending into the realm of meditative, spiritual contemplation.

In 2005 she graduated from California State University, Long Beach, with a BFA in Drawing/Painting and Printmaking (magna cum laude). She studied lithography at the Herron School of Art and Design in Indianapolis, Indiana, then entered the Drawing and Intermedia program at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. In 2008 she won an international award from the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation, as well as scholarships from the Alberta Foundation.

The opening reception is on Friday, 10/5, from 6 - 8 PM, & the show runs until 10/3 - 10/27. Arts Visalia is located at 214 East Oak Avenue, in Visalia, CA. (I'm inordinately proud to say that Amie was one of my former students. RS)

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Sandow Birk, Anthology - Long Beach City College

Long Beach City College is hosting an exhibition of Sandow Birk's work, with the reception this evening (Weds., 9/5/2-12)from 7 - 8:30 PM. Located at 4901 Carson Street in Long Beach, parking on campus is a modest $1.00. The gallery is otherwise open from 9 - 4 PM, Mondays through Thursdays. To find out how long the exhibition will be in place, or for other info: 562/938-4815.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Gustave Klimt: The Magic of Line

This exhibition of Klimt's drawings will be up until 9/23/2012 at The Getty Center, 1200 Getty Center Drive. Parking is $15.00, so one might wish to carpool, or take a bike & mass transit. The Museum is closed Mondays, & open late (until 9 PM) on Fridays. Due to construction on the 405, check the web-site for other daily closures.
The work on the title banner is titled: Fish Blood, 1897-98, brush and black ink, black chalk, heightened with white. It is (of course) available at the Museum shop on T-Shirts, along with a  catalogue for the exhibit written by Marian Bisanz-Prakken. The former items cost $25.00, while the catalogue is $49.99.

Reoccurring Forms: The Drawings of Jamie Sweetman

Jamie Sweetman's opening reception is tonight, Tuesday 9/3/12, from 7 - 9 PM, Main Level of Biola University's Library. Biola is located at 13800 Biola Avenue, La Mirada, CA. For additional info, call 562/903-4807. The exhibition will run until 12/28/2012.