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Visual Arts

Visual Arts


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  string(3419) "If you're willing to give yourself over to it, the new exhibition at the Spelman College Museum of Fine Art will envelop and transport you as completely as traveling to some distant land. In this case the destination is the shocking terrain of two artists' unruly imaginations. IngridMwangiRobertHutter: Constant Triumph comes from the internationally known, Germany-based husband-and-wife team of Ingrid Mwangi and Robert Hutter, a couple so creatively intertwined that their inseparable names crowd centipede-like together in the title of their show.

Constant Triumph is a crash course in issues of race, nationality, sexuality, power and powerlessness. The artists have explored these themes over the course of their careers through photography, installation, video and performance art. It's often difficult and opaque work. Dwelling on states of emotional agitation, and featuring nudity, bodily injury, and an exploration of racial politics, the show is especially uncomfortable when experienced next to a stranger in the gallery. But it's well worth the discomfort.

At the core of the exhibition is flesh: drawn on with markers, cut into with razors or covered in mud. Though our bodies often seem to define us, the beauty of the artists' work is in showing the body as merely a casing and canvas for the artists' and other people's projections. In the video work "Neger Don't Call Me," Mwangi explores that fissure between exterior and interior. "Neger Don't Call Me" shows the artist wrapping her hair around her face like a bandit's mask or letting her hair unfurl. The images are juxtaposed with her voice-over thoughts about what it means to be viewed in terms of a racial stereotype. There is what people see when they look at her: a black woman. And then there is what she is: a Kenya-born, German-raised biracial woman with a white European husband whose artwork explores the fluidity of self. Try putting that in a box on a census form.

In the 15-minute video/endurance piece "Conscious of the Wall," a black man (Kenyan artist Jimmy Ogonga) carves tally marks onto Hutter's white flesh with a tattoo needle. It's a reversal of the usual scenario of master and slave that can suggest white penance for racial guilt over the historical realities of slavery and colonialism. It's also the kind of gory, masochistic, uncomfortable work — made more so by the whirring of the tattoo needle ricocheting around the gallery — that tends to make conservative congressmen pop a vein.

There seems to be little the artists won't tackle. In "Splayed," Mwangi treats the detachment of self and body with three video screens: one of her head shaved to suggest Joan of Arc, and the other two screens showing her outstretched arms extended in a Christ-like posture as she has the tender flesh of her wrists cut to form the words "Monogamous" and "Polygamy." In the comparably grueling "The Cage," Hutter offers up his naked chest to the crowds in Johannesburg's streets who use markers to defile his flesh with both insults and affirmations.

Constant Triumph presents the sanctification of artists, of people pushing themselves to their limits, enduring a great deal in pursuit of deeper truths. The trials and tribulations Mwangi and Hutter undergo can inspire anxiety, sadness, enlightenment and fear. But in an age when people often play it safe, that proximity to risk-taking can be  thrilling to experience."
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''Constant Triumph'' is a crash course in issues of race, nationality, sexuality, power and powerlessness. The artists have explored these themes over the course of their careers through photography, installation, video and performance art. It's often difficult and opaque work. Dwelling on states of emotional agitation, and featuring nudity, bodily injury, and an exploration of racial politics, the show is especially uncomfortable when experienced next to a stranger in the gallery. But it's well worth the discomfort.

At the core of the exhibition is flesh: drawn on with markers, cut into with razors or covered in mud. Though our bodies often seem to define us, the beauty of the artists' work is in showing the body as merely a casing and canvas for the artists' and other people's projections. In the video work "Neger Don't Call Me," Mwangi explores that fissure between exterior and interior. "Neger Don't Call Me" shows the artist wrapping her hair around her face like a bandit's mask or letting her hair unfurl. The images are juxtaposed with her voice-over thoughts about what it means to be viewed in terms of a racial stereotype. There is what people see when they look at her: a black woman. And then there is what she is: a Kenya-born, German-raised biracial woman with a white European husband whose artwork explores the fluidity of self. Try putting that in a box on a census form.

In the 15-minute video/endurance piece "Conscious of the Wall," a black man (Kenyan artist Jimmy Ogonga) carves tally marks onto Hutter's white flesh with a tattoo needle. It's a reversal of the usual scenario of master and slave that can suggest white penance for racial guilt over the historical realities of slavery and colonialism. It's also the kind of gory, masochistic, uncomfortable work — made more so by the whirring of the tattoo needle ricocheting around the gallery — that tends to make conservative congressmen pop a vein.

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Article

Monday February 21, 2011 04:00 am EST
Spelman exhibit offers a crash course in race, nationality, sexuality, power and powerlessness | more...
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  string(52) "...After the Suburbs waves goodbye to the glory days"
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  string(50) "Kiang Gallery exhibition ponders suburbia's future"
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  string(3361) "By the time my parents moved away from their suburban subdivision outside of Nashville five years ago, the shine had already worn off the suburban dream. The distance from the city that was supposed to guarantee safety and predictability had instead begun to deliver isolation and a lingering paranoia as the subdivision and the suburb around it began to feel the first tectonic shifts of socioeconomic change.

The changes in the suburbs both locally and internationally form the subject of ...After the Suburbs, a subtle and perceptive group show at Kiang Gallery curated by Atlanta artist Karen Tauches. ...After the Suburbs largely assumes that suburbia's moment of post-war expansionist glory is over. The show's 15 artists pick apart what's left: what can be saved, what can be reused and what parts of the dream remain.

Alex Rogers' digital media work "Untitled (Subdivision Names)" pulls words from a database containing 150 names of Atlanta subdivisions, randomly reassembling them to create fictitious names that are both entirely realistic and laughably pompous: Ashley Brooke, Dunmore Branches, Belmont Place. Nowhere else is suburbia's pretension toward Anglophilic, Victorian stateliness more evident.

From the same thematic well, Amandine Drouet's "Monumental Sign (Evergreen Gates)" comprises a tiny subdivision gate constructed of recycled soy milk containers refashioned into bricks and emblazoned with the name "Evergreen Gates" in florid cursive. Small and protecting nothing, the gate is charming and a little bit sad, vulnerable in the outsized optimism it reaches for.

Other works directly point to suburbia's broken promise. In a series of small photographs, James Griffioen documents abandoned houses, many of which are taken completely over by nature every summer in Detroit's suburbs. Sarah Hobbs' "Avoidance" features an imposing blank foyer and front door with its oh-so-suburban Palladian window covered with aluminum foil — a monument to some irrational fear of the outside.

Historically, American suburbs were supposed to be a compromise. They were meant to combine the health of nature and country living with access to the economic engine of city centers. But in Atlanta as elsewhere, the centrifugal force pulling populations further and further out from the city's core adopted an uglier name: sprawl. And the relationship between human settlement and nature began to look less like a compromise and more like a battleground.

Many of the works in ...After the Suburbs dramatize the conflict: Nancy Vandevender's "greenery" made of cheap-looking chintz fabric strung across the gallery walls is both a mockery and a commemoration of nature. Meg Aubrey's small, tightly rendered paintings of generic suburban landscapes depict such a relentless taming of trees and shrubs that natural forms take on the qualities of architecture or stone sculpture.

Urbanist and professional naysayer James Kunstler has called America's post World War II suburban sprawl "the greatest misallocation of resources the world has ever known." I'm inclined to agree. But the question remains what to do now that we've got them, and now that they've become a global phenomenon. ...After the Suburbs offers a series of intriguing recalibrations. The suburban dream hasn't died, but its 21st-century form may be like nothing we've seen before. "
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The changes in the suburbs both locally and internationally form the subject of ''...After the Suburbs'', a subtle and perceptive group show at Kiang Gallery curated by Atlanta artist Karen Tauches. ''...After the Suburbs'' largely assumes that suburbia's moment of post-war expansionist glory is over. The show's 15 artists pick apart what's left: what can be saved, what can be reused and what parts of the dream remain.

Alex Rogers' digital media work "Untitled (Subdivision Names)" pulls words from a database containing 150 names of Atlanta subdivisions, randomly reassembling them to create fictitious names that are both entirely realistic and laughably pompous: Ashley Brooke, Dunmore Branches, Belmont Place. Nowhere else is suburbia's pretension toward Anglophilic, Victorian stateliness more evident.

From the same thematic well, Amandine Drouet's "Monumental Sign (Evergreen Gates)" comprises a tiny subdivision gate constructed of recycled soy milk containers refashioned into bricks and emblazoned with the name "Evergreen Gates" in florid cursive. Small and protecting nothing, the gate is charming and a little bit sad, vulnerable in the outsized optimism it reaches for.

Other works directly point to suburbia's broken promise. In a series of small photographs, James Griffioen documents abandoned houses, many of which are taken completely over by nature every summer in Detroit's suburbs. Sarah Hobbs' "Avoidance" features an imposing blank foyer and front door with its oh-so-suburban Palladian window covered with aluminum foil — a monument to some irrational fear of the outside.

Historically, American suburbs were supposed to be a compromise. They were meant to combine the health of nature and country living with access to the economic engine of city centers. But in Atlanta as elsewhere, the centrifugal force pulling populations further and further out from the city's core adopted an uglier name: sprawl. And the relationship between human settlement and nature began to look less like a compromise and more like a battleground.

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  string(3655) "    Kiang Gallery exhibition ponders suburbia's future   2011-02-14T17:00:00+00:00 ...After the Suburbs waves goodbye to the glory days   Cinque Hicks 1306447 2011-02-14T17:00:00+00:00  By the time my parents moved away from their suburban subdivision outside of Nashville five years ago, the shine had already worn off the suburban dream. The distance from the city that was supposed to guarantee safety and predictability had instead begun to deliver isolation and a lingering paranoia as the subdivision and the suburb around it began to feel the first tectonic shifts of socioeconomic change.

The changes in the suburbs both locally and internationally form the subject of ...After the Suburbs, a subtle and perceptive group show at Kiang Gallery curated by Atlanta artist Karen Tauches. ...After the Suburbs largely assumes that suburbia's moment of post-war expansionist glory is over. The show's 15 artists pick apart what's left: what can be saved, what can be reused and what parts of the dream remain.

Alex Rogers' digital media work "Untitled (Subdivision Names)" pulls words from a database containing 150 names of Atlanta subdivisions, randomly reassembling them to create fictitious names that are both entirely realistic and laughably pompous: Ashley Brooke, Dunmore Branches, Belmont Place. Nowhere else is suburbia's pretension toward Anglophilic, Victorian stateliness more evident.

From the same thematic well, Amandine Drouet's "Monumental Sign (Evergreen Gates)" comprises a tiny subdivision gate constructed of recycled soy milk containers refashioned into bricks and emblazoned with the name "Evergreen Gates" in florid cursive. Small and protecting nothing, the gate is charming and a little bit sad, vulnerable in the outsized optimism it reaches for.

Other works directly point to suburbia's broken promise. In a series of small photographs, James Griffioen documents abandoned houses, many of which are taken completely over by nature every summer in Detroit's suburbs. Sarah Hobbs' "Avoidance" features an imposing blank foyer and front door with its oh-so-suburban Palladian window covered with aluminum foil — a monument to some irrational fear of the outside.

Historically, American suburbs were supposed to be a compromise. They were meant to combine the health of nature and country living with access to the economic engine of city centers. But in Atlanta as elsewhere, the centrifugal force pulling populations further and further out from the city's core adopted an uglier name: sprawl. And the relationship between human settlement and nature began to look less like a compromise and more like a battleground.

Many of the works in ...After the Suburbs dramatize the conflict: Nancy Vandevender's "greenery" made of cheap-looking chintz fabric strung across the gallery walls is both a mockery and a commemoration of nature. Meg Aubrey's small, tightly rendered paintings of generic suburban landscapes depict such a relentless taming of trees and shrubs that natural forms take on the qualities of architecture or stone sculpture.

Urbanist and professional naysayer James Kunstler has called America's post World War II suburban sprawl "the greatest misallocation of resources the world has ever known." I'm inclined to agree. But the question remains what to do now that we've got them, and now that they've become a global phenomenon. ...After the Suburbs offers a series of intriguing recalibrations. The suburban dream hasn't died, but its 21st-century form may be like nothing we've seen before.              13058453 2797820                          ...After the Suburbs waves goodbye to the glory days "
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Monday February 14, 2011 12:00 pm EST
Kiang Gallery exhibition ponders suburbia's future | more...
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  string(3559) "    Double Vision big on feeling, small on statement   2011-02-08T17:00:00+00:00 Beep Beep Gallery's new show takes pleasure in old ways   Felicia Feaster 1223506 2011-02-08T17:00:00+00:00  Just hours before the opening of the photo group show Double Vision, there are Miller High Life cans still strewn around Beep Beep Gallery like dandelions on an unmowed lawn.

It's all part of the gallery's adorably rough-hewn vibe that its fans have come to know and love: equal parts indie inspiration and semi-neglected art clubhouse. Gallery owners Mark Basehore and James McConnell are sticking to their guns to give greener artists — those often denied a more established, commercial space — a chance.

The photography in Double Vision toes the Beep Beep line: Some is inspired, and some suffers from the artists' mistaken impression that because the space is still a bit raw after five years, their work can afford to be. Double Vision is a mixed bag with a crop of artists often foregrounding presentation and old-school methods. In an age when digital is king, more than 80 percent of Double Vision's photographs were shot on film and developed the old-fashioned way. The pleasing impression is of a younger generation of artists who — like some of their muttonchop-sporting, banjo-strumming Gen Y peers — delight in things antiquated and authentic.

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Artist Nikita Gale proves an exception to Double Vision's atmospheric old-timeyness. Gale's conceptual, digital works juxtapose vintage magazine ads with photos of tragedy, such as the Hindenburg disaster or Abu Ghraib. Gale's willingness to engage with ideas and think about how imagery is complicated by context is a positive. But her button pushing can tiptoe into bad taste, as with a print ad for Dixie Peach Hairdressing. The ad's slogan — "a beautiful head of hair is never an accident" — is placed behind the infamous image of Jacqueline Kennedy crawling across the presidential limo to retrieve a fragment of her husband's skull.

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Tuesday February 8, 2011 12:00 pm EST
Double Vision big on feeling, small on statement | more...

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  string(3634) "Stay put for any length of time, and Atlanta can feel like a tiny town. The city's creative communities — theater, film, art — are tightly knit and interconnected. You can often see the influence of one generation on another in an immediate way that might not be as obvious in a larger metropolis. That cozy familiarity-breeds-content equation plays out in the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia's third biennial Movers & Shakers, a salute to "the Rising Stars of the Georgia Arts Scene." Movers & Shakers posits itself as a launching pad for new talent but does some of its most interesting work as an extended conversation between artists at various stages of their careers.

Rising? Not always. Jody Fausett's suburbia sci-fi photographs have been kicking around Atlanta for some time, while painter Jiha Moon and sculptor Brian Dettmer aren't exactly quivering, dewy debs yearning for discovery. These cats are out of the bag, with solid, bankable careers.

No matter. The charm of this biennial's concept is that a selection of 2007 and 2009's "movers and shakers" picked this year's stars. Art geeks can play a fun game: Before reading the wall label, try to guess which salty and seasoned artist chose which hunk of fresh meat.

Is it any wonder that Ukrainian-born Alex Kvares, he of the up-all-night, eyestrain-inducing, obsessive school of art, has fingered artists who are, in a word, fixated? Matching Kvares' ornamental fetishism blow for blow, Dettmer cuts and carves a set of encyclopedias into visual rabbit holes you can't help but fall into for "Organized Knowledge in Story and Picture." And "Wedding Bands," Jason R. Butcher's gloriously twisted, conspiratorial drawing of interconnection, echoes Kvares' kinky, spewing content as well as his debt to underground comix.

Other artists share just the vapor of an idea, like Disney goth Sarah Emerson who has chosen color-fiend painter Chung-Fan Chang for a similar love of sugary hues and vision of nature as a gooey, molting force — kinda cute, and kinda scary.

There are big ideas at play in Movers & Shakers, suggesting that the young'uns aren't the intellectual dropouts pop culture often makes them out to be. Served up hot and fresh: the white paranoia that fuels gun madness, American slavery, sexual violence, and more than one artist paying tribute — consciously or not — to Kojo Griffin's surreal humanimals as symbols of our own moral failings.

There is a lot of painting — Charles Westfall's "Saragmos" is an especially memorable combination of technical chops and creepy intensity. And some clever, clean sculptural works such as the immigrant-among-us commentary offered by "House Project," Ting Ying Han's exquisite house constructed of rice and resin perched on a picket fence. Assimilation has never looked so ... complicated.

For a photo-centric town like Atlanta, there is a surprising dearth of photography, though an eerie examination of thresholds by Christina Price Washington is a standout. The idea of information overload, of brains drowning in stimulus, is another motif. Marc Brotherton offers a clever take on the subject with his wiggy self-portrait "In My Head," where parasitic thought bubbles/organisms suggest the tangents and digressions of living in the age of the www.

Movers & Shakers illuminates something powerful and embraceable about Atlanta's tininess: It's a town incestuous enough to nurture talent, which in turn stokes other artists in creativity's giddy merry-go-round. One year's art star is next year's Kennesaw or SCAD prof warming their hands over a protégé's hot flame. And so it continues. "
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  string(4290) "Stay put for any length of time, and Atlanta can feel like a tiny town. The city's creative communities — theater, film, art — are tightly knit and interconnected. You can often see the influence of one generation on another in an immediate way that might not be as obvious in a larger metropolis. That cozy familiarity-breeds-content equation plays out in the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia's third biennial ''Movers & Shakers'', a salute to "the Rising Stars of the Georgia Arts Scene." ''Movers & Shakers'' posits itself as a launching pad for new talent but does some of its most interesting work as an extended conversation between artists at various stages of their careers.

Rising? Not always. [http://clatl.com/atlanta/jody-fausetts-snake-eyes/Content?oid=1275377|Jody Fausett's] suburbia sci-fi photographs have been kicking around Atlanta for some time, while painter [http://clatl.com/atlanta/jiha-moons-candy-coated-chaos/Content?oid=1286691|Jiha Moon] and sculptor [http://clatl.com/atlanta/brian-dettmer-puts-vintage-books-under-the-knife/Content?oid=2537301|Brian Dettmer] aren't exactly quivering, dewy debs yearning for discovery. These cats are out of the bag, with solid, bankable careers.

No matter. The charm of this biennial's concept is that a selection of 2007 and 2009's "movers and shakers" picked this year's stars. Art geeks can play a fun game: Before reading the wall label, try to guess which salty and seasoned artist chose which hunk of fresh meat.

Is it any wonder that Ukrainian-born [http://clatl.com/culturesurfing/archives/2009/11/12/alex-kvares-discusses-oh-so-fail-at-the-beep-beep-gallery/|Alex Kvares], he of the up-all-night, eyestrain-inducing, obsessive school of art, has fingered artists who are, in a word, fixated? Matching Kvares' ornamental fetishism blow for blow, Dettmer cuts and carves a set of encyclopedias into visual rabbit holes you can't help but fall into for "Organized Knowledge in Story and Picture." And "Wedding Bands," [http://clatl.com/culturesurfing/archives/2010/11/11/butcher-and-tsambiras-operate-restless-devices-at-beep-beep|Jason R. Butcher's] gloriously twisted, conspiratorial drawing of interconnection, echoes Kvares' kinky, spewing content as well as his debt to underground comix.

Other artists share just the vapor of an idea, like Disney goth Sarah Emerson who has chosen color-fiend painter Chung-Fan Chang for a similar love of sugary hues and vision of nature as a gooey, molting force — kinda cute, and kinda scary.

There are big ideas at play in ''Movers & Shakers'', suggesting that the young'uns aren't the intellectual dropouts pop culture often makes them out to be. Served up hot and fresh: the white paranoia that fuels gun madness, American slavery, sexual violence, and more than one artist paying tribute — consciously or not — to Kojo Griffin's surreal humanimals as symbols of our own moral failings.

There is a lot of painting — Charles Westfall's "Saragmos" is an especially memorable combination of technical chops and creepy intensity. And some clever, clean sculptural works such as the immigrant-among-us commentary offered by "House Project," [http://clatl.com/atlanta/speakeasy-with-ting-ying-han/Content?oid=1281429|Ting Ying Han's] exquisite house constructed of rice and resin perched on a picket fence. Assimilation has never looked so ... complicated.

For a photo-centric town like Atlanta, there is a surprising dearth of photography, though an eerie examination of thresholds by Christina Price Washington is a standout. The idea of information overload, of brains drowning in stimulus, is another motif. [http://clatl.com/atlanta/marc-brotherton-gets-in-shape-at-callanwolde/Content?oid=1276359|Marc Brotherton] offers a clever take on the subject with his wiggy self-portrait "In My Head," where parasitic thought bubbles/organisms suggest the tangents and digressions of living in the age of the www.

''Movers & Shakers'' illuminates something powerful and embraceable about Atlanta's tininess: It's a town incestuous enough to nurture talent, which in turn stokes other artists in creativity's giddy merry-go-round. One year's art star is next year's Kennesaw or SCAD prof warming their hands over a protégé's hot flame. And so it continues. "
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  string(3909) "    Movers & Shakers highlights the creative chatter between Atlanta artists   2011-01-28T13:00:00+00:00 Under the influence at MOCA GA   Felicia Feaster 1223506 2011-01-28T13:00:00+00:00  Stay put for any length of time, and Atlanta can feel like a tiny town. The city's creative communities — theater, film, art — are tightly knit and interconnected. You can often see the influence of one generation on another in an immediate way that might not be as obvious in a larger metropolis. That cozy familiarity-breeds-content equation plays out in the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia's third biennial Movers & Shakers, a salute to "the Rising Stars of the Georgia Arts Scene." Movers & Shakers posits itself as a launching pad for new talent but does some of its most interesting work as an extended conversation between artists at various stages of their careers.

Rising? Not always. Jody Fausett's suburbia sci-fi photographs have been kicking around Atlanta for some time, while painter Jiha Moon and sculptor Brian Dettmer aren't exactly quivering, dewy debs yearning for discovery. These cats are out of the bag, with solid, bankable careers.

No matter. The charm of this biennial's concept is that a selection of 2007 and 2009's "movers and shakers" picked this year's stars. Art geeks can play a fun game: Before reading the wall label, try to guess which salty and seasoned artist chose which hunk of fresh meat.

Is it any wonder that Ukrainian-born Alex Kvares, he of the up-all-night, eyestrain-inducing, obsessive school of art, has fingered artists who are, in a word, fixated? Matching Kvares' ornamental fetishism blow for blow, Dettmer cuts and carves a set of encyclopedias into visual rabbit holes you can't help but fall into for "Organized Knowledge in Story and Picture." And "Wedding Bands," Jason R. Butcher's gloriously twisted, conspiratorial drawing of interconnection, echoes Kvares' kinky, spewing content as well as his debt to underground comix.

Other artists share just the vapor of an idea, like Disney goth Sarah Emerson who has chosen color-fiend painter Chung-Fan Chang for a similar love of sugary hues and vision of nature as a gooey, molting force — kinda cute, and kinda scary.

There are big ideas at play in Movers & Shakers, suggesting that the young'uns aren't the intellectual dropouts pop culture often makes them out to be. Served up hot and fresh: the white paranoia that fuels gun madness, American slavery, sexual violence, and more than one artist paying tribute — consciously or not — to Kojo Griffin's surreal humanimals as symbols of our own moral failings.

There is a lot of painting — Charles Westfall's "Saragmos" is an especially memorable combination of technical chops and creepy intensity. And some clever, clean sculptural works such as the immigrant-among-us commentary offered by "House Project," Ting Ying Han's exquisite house constructed of rice and resin perched on a picket fence. Assimilation has never looked so ... complicated.

For a photo-centric town like Atlanta, there is a surprising dearth of photography, though an eerie examination of thresholds by Christina Price Washington is a standout. The idea of information overload, of brains drowning in stimulus, is another motif. Marc Brotherton offers a clever take on the subject with his wiggy self-portrait "In My Head," where parasitic thought bubbles/organisms suggest the tangents and digressions of living in the age of the www.

Movers & Shakers illuminates something powerful and embraceable about Atlanta's tininess: It's a town incestuous enough to nurture talent, which in turn stokes other artists in creativity's giddy merry-go-round. One year's art star is next year's Kennesaw or SCAD prof warming their hands over a protégé's hot flame. And so it continues.              13058074 2717196                          Under the influence at MOCA GA "
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Friday January 28, 2011 08:00 am EST
Movers & Shakers highlights the creative chatter between Atlanta artists | more...
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  string(3323) "Chris Verene's been photographing his extended family in Galesburg, Ill., for 25 years. He's chronicled his cousin Candi's marriage and divorce, his cousin Steve's estrangement from his daughters, and the birth and growth of perhaps a dozen kids as they lurch in and out of adolescence.

Twenty of these photos are collected in Family, currently on view at Marcia Wood Gallery. The series of color documentary photographs tells the idiosyncratic story of hardscrabble lives in a hardscrabble town. "The State Took Custody of Amber's Girls" depicts Amber in ill-fitting clothes as she touches the windshield of a car that appears to be carrying her daughters away. But the photo might equally refer to the car in which she had been living with the girls when times got tough.

The same drama resumes later that same year in "Amber Got Her Girls Back and Now They Live in the Abandoned Restaurant." Someone's shoved a filthy mattress where the table of a booth once was and the girls are playing on it like any 3- or 4-year-old girls, unaware of their reduced circumstances.

Verene shoots as life unfolds around him. He doesn't pose his subjects, although they sometimes choose to pose themselves. The photographer's known his subjects for almost three decades and that accounts for the sweetly awkward family photo aesthetic on display. That feeling is reinforced by the snippets of narrative written below each photo, evoking the vanishing practice of scribbling notes on family pictures.

Verene was born in Galesburg, but attended high school, college and graduate school in Atlanta. His career hit its stride in 2000 when the Whitney Biennial acknowledged in a rare move that art actually exists south of Staten Island and trundled him off along with Atlantans Robin Bernat and Kojo Griffin into the national spotlight.

Family must have taken courage. Verene's love for his family and friends stands exposed like a slightly embarrassing diary entry. His tender dedication to a project of many decades leaves no question about where his allegiances lie: with the elderly residents of a "research" mental hospital in "Rozie's Mother's Birthday," and with the smiling Candi who's lost her husband, home and job in an Olympics of misfortune.

Emory photography historian Jason Francisco has compared Verene to documentary photographer Jacob Riis, whose images of New York's down and out were meant to provoke outrage and spark social reform. But that's where Verene's moral hazard lies. Unlike other photographers who have gained the keys to private worlds — think Larry Clark and Diane Arbus — Verene confirms rather than overturns everything you thought you knew about Midwestern yokels: that they're all slightly weird, hapless and overweight.

Riis' photographs dissected the detail of systemic poverty with a European's sense of social context. But Verene is deeply American. In his world, misfortune is individual and personal, not social and systemic. Calamity is something that seems to drop from the sky, and the best his subjects can do is put on a brave face and muddle through. It's a curious form of fatalism that values resignation over action, sentimentality over anger.

There's no doubt Verene is motivated by love. Family is sweet and moving, but what it moves us toward may ultimately be a dead end."
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Twenty of these photos are collected in ''Family'', currently on view at Marcia Wood Gallery. The series of color documentary photographs tells the idiosyncratic story of hardscrabble lives in a hardscrabble town. "The State Took Custody of Amber's Girls" depicts Amber in ill-fitting clothes as she touches the windshield of a car that appears to be carrying her daughters away. But the photo might equally refer to the car in which she had been living with the girls when times got tough.

The same drama resumes later that same year in "Amber Got Her Girls Back and Now They Live in the Abandoned Restaurant." Someone's shoved a filthy mattress where the table of a booth once was and the girls are playing on it like any 3- or 4-year-old girls, unaware of their reduced circumstances.

Verene shoots as life unfolds around him. He doesn't pose his subjects, although they sometimes choose to pose themselves. The photographer's known his subjects for almost three decades and that accounts for the sweetly awkward family photo aesthetic on display. That feeling is reinforced by the snippets of narrative written below each photo, evoking the vanishing practice of scribbling notes on family pictures.

Verene was born in Galesburg, but attended high school, college and graduate school in Atlanta. His career hit its stride in 2000 when the Whitney Biennial acknowledged in a rare move that art actually exists south of Staten Island and trundled him off along with Atlantans Robin Bernat and Kojo Griffin into the national spotlight.

''Family'' must have taken courage. Verene's love for his family and friends stands exposed like a slightly embarrassing diary entry. His tender dedication to a project of many decades leaves no question about where his allegiances lie: with the elderly residents of a "research" mental hospital in "Rozie's Mother's Birthday," and with the smiling Candi who's lost her husband, home and job in an Olympics of misfortune.

Emory photography historian [http://www.artscriticatl.com/2010/10/review-chris-verenes-piercing-family-tracks-middle-american-struggles-at-marcia-wood-gallery-by-jason-francisco/|Jason Francisco has compared] Verene to documentary photographer Jacob Riis, whose images of New York's down and out were meant to provoke outrage and spark social reform. But that's where Verene's moral hazard lies. Unlike other photographers who have gained the keys to private worlds — think Larry Clark and Diane Arbus — Verene confirms rather than overturns everything you thought you knew about Midwestern yokels: that they're all slightly weird, hapless and overweight.

Riis' photographs dissected the detail of systemic poverty with a European's sense of social context. But Verene is deeply American. In his world, misfortune is individual and personal, not social and systemic. Calamity is something that seems to drop from the sky, and the best his subjects can do is put on a brave face and muddle through. It's a curious form of fatalism that values resignation over action, sentimentality over anger.

There's no doubt Verene is motivated by love. ''Family'' is sweet and moving, but what it moves us toward may ultimately be a dead end."
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  string(3624) "    Verene confirms everything you thought you knew about Midwestern yokels   2010-10-22T12:00:00+00:00 The curious fatalism of Chris Verene's Family   Cinque Hicks 1306447 2010-10-22T12:00:00+00:00  Chris Verene's been photographing his extended family in Galesburg, Ill., for 25 years. He's chronicled his cousin Candi's marriage and divorce, his cousin Steve's estrangement from his daughters, and the birth and growth of perhaps a dozen kids as they lurch in and out of adolescence.

Twenty of these photos are collected in Family, currently on view at Marcia Wood Gallery. The series of color documentary photographs tells the idiosyncratic story of hardscrabble lives in a hardscrabble town. "The State Took Custody of Amber's Girls" depicts Amber in ill-fitting clothes as she touches the windshield of a car that appears to be carrying her daughters away. But the photo might equally refer to the car in which she had been living with the girls when times got tough.

The same drama resumes later that same year in "Amber Got Her Girls Back and Now They Live in the Abandoned Restaurant." Someone's shoved a filthy mattress where the table of a booth once was and the girls are playing on it like any 3- or 4-year-old girls, unaware of their reduced circumstances.

Verene shoots as life unfolds around him. He doesn't pose his subjects, although they sometimes choose to pose themselves. The photographer's known his subjects for almost three decades and that accounts for the sweetly awkward family photo aesthetic on display. That feeling is reinforced by the snippets of narrative written below each photo, evoking the vanishing practice of scribbling notes on family pictures.

Verene was born in Galesburg, but attended high school, college and graduate school in Atlanta. His career hit its stride in 2000 when the Whitney Biennial acknowledged in a rare move that art actually exists south of Staten Island and trundled him off along with Atlantans Robin Bernat and Kojo Griffin into the national spotlight.

Family must have taken courage. Verene's love for his family and friends stands exposed like a slightly embarrassing diary entry. His tender dedication to a project of many decades leaves no question about where his allegiances lie: with the elderly residents of a "research" mental hospital in "Rozie's Mother's Birthday," and with the smiling Candi who's lost her husband, home and job in an Olympics of misfortune.

Emory photography historian Jason Francisco has compared Verene to documentary photographer Jacob Riis, whose images of New York's down and out were meant to provoke outrage and spark social reform. But that's where Verene's moral hazard lies. Unlike other photographers who have gained the keys to private worlds — think Larry Clark and Diane Arbus — Verene confirms rather than overturns everything you thought you knew about Midwestern yokels: that they're all slightly weird, hapless and overweight.

Riis' photographs dissected the detail of systemic poverty with a European's sense of social context. But Verene is deeply American. In his world, misfortune is individual and personal, not social and systemic. Calamity is something that seems to drop from the sky, and the best his subjects can do is put on a brave face and muddle through. It's a curious form of fatalism that values resignation over action, sentimentality over anger.

There's no doubt Verene is motivated by love. Family is sweet and moving, but what it moves us toward may ultimately be a dead end.             13056085 2250180                          The curious fatalism of Chris Verene's Family "
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Friday October 22, 2010 08:00 am EDT
Verene confirms everything you thought you knew about Midwestern yokels | more...
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  string(3881) "History can't lie still. Just weeks ago, the FBI released documents indicating that noted photographer and activist Ernest C. Withers served as a so-called racial informant from at least 1968 to 1970. During those years he allegedly used his front row seat as a photojournalist to report back to the government on the very sanitation strikes and student uprisings to which he seemed so loyal.

One of the images in Bradley McCallum and Jacqueline Tarry's midcareer survey Evenly Yoked, currently on view at the Spelman College Museum of Fine Art, is based on a Withers photo. The image proves to be as slippery as the history itself.

In "Strike, Memphis, Tennessee, March 28, 1968 (after Ernest Withers; New York Public Library Image Collection)," the husband and wife team take Withers' original photo of sanitation workers carrying placards that read "I Am a Man" and render it in monochromatic oils. Over this they've stretched the same image printed on gauzy silk, slightly misaligned and resized. The effect suggests the haze of memory and the fog of history. And given the recent revelations surrounding Withers, the layers also suggest that in our national drama of race, time is as likely to produce questions as answers.

"Strike" is one of some 60 works produced in the same manner that comprise more than half the show. Most of the images seem dredged up from a familiar historical picture book: police dogs harassing black protesters, a Klan funeral, the hanging body of a lynched man. Or a shared national mythology: film stills from Imitation of Life, Mahogany and Coffy.

But if the works are meant to reconfigure our relationship to these historical moments, they largely don't. The work is ambitious, but too stiff to be transformative. They feel instead like the obligatory righteous indignation used to justify the nuance, grace and moral ambiguity of the video work in the rest of the show.

By contrast, the video works are where the couple says something brave and new both about themselves and about how race informs relationships. In "Topsy Turvy," McCallum (who's white) and Tarry (who's black) rotate end over end, joined together in a continuous fluid motion in the New York Historical Society's magnificent gothic hallway.

The action of the video is simple, but it reveals ever-deeper levels of psychological truth with each slow motion repetition. In one moment he's on top, his face grand and stoic. A moment later he drops from view and her face rises like the sun. The action dramatizes our conjoined racial histories, oppositional and symbiotic at the same time. But it also plays out the tumultuous zero-sum moments that all intimate relationships go through in which one can't be on the way up unless the other's on the way down.

As with all of the videos, "Topsy Turvy" seizes the visual language of mainstream cinema: close-ups, dramatic cuts, a musical soundtrack. And like similarly lush work by filmmakers Isaac Julien and Matthew Barney, it proves that Hollywood's vocabulary can be siphoned off to a work of philosophy as easily as any narrative work.

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In "Strike, Memphis, Tennessee, March 28, 1968 (after Ernest Withers; New York Public Library Image Collection)," the husband and wife team take Withers' original photo of sanitation workers carrying placards that read "I Am a Man" and render it in monochromatic oils. Over this they've stretched the same image printed on gauzy silk, slightly misaligned and resized. The effect suggests the haze of memory and the fog of history. And given the recent revelations surrounding Withers, the layers also suggest that in our national drama of race, time is as likely to produce questions as answers.

"Strike" is one of some 60 works produced in the same manner that comprise more than half the show. Most of the images seem dredged up from a familiar historical picture book: police dogs harassing black protesters, a Klan funeral, the hanging body of a lynched man. Or a shared national mythology: film stills from Imitation of Life, Mahogany and Coffy.

But if the works are meant to reconfigure our relationship to these historical moments, they largely don't. The work is ambitious, but too stiff to be transformative. They feel instead like the obligatory righteous indignation used to justify the nuance, grace and moral ambiguity of the video work in the rest of the show.

By contrast, the video works are where the couple says something brave and new both about themselves and about how race informs relationships. In "Topsy Turvy," McCallum (who's white) and Tarry (who's black) rotate end over end, joined together in a continuous fluid motion in the New York Historical Society's magnificent gothic hallway.

The action of the video is simple, but it reveals ever-deeper levels of psychological truth with each slow motion repetition. In one moment he's on top, his face grand and stoic. A moment later he drops from view and her face rises like the sun. The action dramatizes our conjoined racial histories, oppositional and symbiotic at the same time. But it also plays out the tumultuous zero-sum moments that all intimate relationships go through in which one can't be on the way up unless the other's on the way down.

As with all of the videos, "Topsy Turvy" seizes the visual language of mainstream cinema: close-ups, dramatic cuts, a musical soundtrack. And like similarly lush work by filmmakers Isaac Julien and Matthew Barney, it proves that Hollywood's vocabulary can be siphoned off to a work of philosophy as easily as any narrative work.

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Evenly Yoked presents the rapidly maturing work of two fearless artists preparing the way for a new and more subtle conversation about race. Their work reveals that history, even as it anchors us, still somehow slips sideways into the present.             13055623 2176760                          McCallum and Tarry invoke a more subtle conversation about race "
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Tuesday October 5, 2010 08:00 am EDT
Evenly Yoked at Spelman Museum of Fine Art | more...
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  string(2800) "Sustain, Chakaia Booker's solo show at the ACA Gallery of SCAD, features the artist's trademark wall reliefs and freestanding sculptures, all made of recycled tires, alongside six new photogravures. The overall effect is of dramatic black-on-black compositions. It's only by looking closely at the sculptures that one realizes what they're made of. Booker's works are so complex, the cut rubber treads wrapped so intricately and made to seem so supple, they belie the difficulty of using this intractable material.

Three reliefs, "Natural Tendencies," "Justified," and "Sheltered Thoughts" resemble big knots or complicated bows and mark the wall like calligraphic strokes in ink. "Intimate Expressions" and "40th and 5th" are freestanding sculptures in which tire treads twist, curl and jut in shapes resembling large ceremonial masks or headdresses. Other sculptural works include "Like," which evokes a large, ornate picture frame, and the curvy ladder "Vacancy." The most recent sculpture is the large wall relief, "The Color of Hope," from 2010, the title of which likely refers to the election of President Obama. It swirls like a big party on the wall: Tires cut into streamers extrude from the work, which seem to explode from its center.

The most compelling pieces here are new works Booker made in Atlanta. Each summer, in honor of the National Black Arts Festival, SCAD invites an artist of color to come to the college and collaborate with students to create a newly commissioned work of art. The outcome of Booker's residency is a suite of six photogravures, a 19th-century printmaking technique combining elements of photography and engraving. The resulting prints look like archival photographs but with the wide variety of tones only a print from an etched plate can produce. Robert Brown, the chair of the printmaking department at SCAD and a master printer, worked with Booker and the students to create the series, Foundling Warrior Quest (II 21C), 1-6.

The prints show the artist inserted into a compelling implied narrative. Booker presents herself as a kind of warrior; her combat dress combines the artist's paint-stained cargo pants and work boots with a desert dweller's belted tunic, an elaborate cloth headdress, and a cross made of bones. She stands or strides regally and purposefully through a landfill, a tire in one hand and a plastic bag in the other, alone and invincible in her quest. Although these images are performative, they're not self-conscious. Booker avoids eye contact with the camera, attending only to the task at hand as she moves through the rubble.

The portraits poignantly express Booker's relationship to the environment. She has taken it upon herself to create beauty from the things others have cast off, and is inexhaustible in her mission. "
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Three reliefs, "Natural Tendencies," "Justified," and "Sheltered Thoughts" resemble big knots or complicated bows and mark the wall like calligraphic strokes in ink. "Intimate Expressions" and "40th and 5th" are freestanding sculptures in which tire treads twist, curl and jut in shapes resembling large ceremonial masks or headdresses. Other sculptural works include "Like," which evokes a large, ornate picture frame, and the curvy ladder "Vacancy." The most recent sculpture is the large wall relief, "The Color of Hope," from 2010, the title of which likely refers to the election of President Obama. It swirls like a big party on the wall: Tires cut into streamers extrude from the work, which seem to explode from its center.

The most compelling pieces here are new works Booker made in Atlanta. Each summer, in honor of the National Black Arts Festival, SCAD invites an artist of color to come to the college and collaborate with students to create a newly commissioned work of art. The outcome of Booker's residency is a suite of six photogravures, a 19th-century printmaking technique combining elements of photography and engraving. The resulting prints look like archival photographs but with the wide variety of tones only a print from an etched plate can produce. Robert Brown, the chair of the printmaking department at SCAD and a master printer, worked with Booker and the students to create the series, ''Foundling Warrior Quest (II 21C), 1-6''.

The prints show the artist inserted into a compelling implied narrative. Booker presents herself as a kind of warrior; her combat dress combines the artist's paint-stained cargo pants and work boots with a desert dweller's belted tunic, an elaborate cloth headdress, and a cross made of bones. She stands or strides regally and purposefully through a landfill, a tire in one hand and a plastic bag in the other, alone and invincible in her quest. Although these images are performative, they're not self-conscious. Booker avoids eye contact with the camera, attending only to the task at hand as she moves through the rubble.

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Monday August 16, 2010 03:30 pm EDT
Discarded rubber works and photogravures examine the artist's process and place | more...
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  string(3503) "Iconoclasm is easy in the age of digital photography. It happens almost by accident: Mel Gibson loses his marbles with his ex and just like that, every amateur cell phone snapshot of Mel going apeshit ends up on E! It's easy to forget how much reverence images commanded when almost all the ones we saw in the mass media were planned and constructed.

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Each of the four paintings that comprise the show depicts a central figure, always a male athlete of sorts, rendered as though seen on a television screen through bad reception. All of the distortions, doublings and halos endemic to the era of rabbit ears are retained, even celebrated, in the compositions.

Finch channels the technology of the screen itself, presenting the image as a field of overlapping dots of pure color. The figures — Evel Knievel, an inverted skateboarder, a stunt biker — are legible only from a distance, dissolving into pure abstraction up close.

Finch is borrowing from the toolkit of the late 19th-century pointillists, such as Georges Seurat, with this technique. But he's dropped their rigid, mechanical approach in favor of a lyrical syncopation. The procession of dabs and dots pulsate across the canvas in rhythmic variations of color and size.

For all the paintings, Finch casts his eye on icons suspended permanently in TV's flattened timescape. The artist has also taken on Bruce Lee, Tarzan and King Kong in previous work. In doing so, Finch follows in the brisk trade in icons of icons that pop art's been in love with since Andy Warhol met Elizabeth Taylor.

But Finch isn't a court reporter. He's a painter, and like most painters of the last few decades, he knows that objectivity is at least in crisis and might be all but dead. The subject of his paintings isn't so much the men on display as it is his distortions of the men on display. The grain and snow point back to the TV's own physical circumstance, to its status of being viewed. Finch isn't making portraits of what's on TV, he's making portraits of himself watching TV.

And what he's watching is mostly guys — tough manly men. His '70s-era images evoke the last moment in American culture when kids collectively believed in heroic public men — Lee Majors and O.J. Simpson — a belief that seems impossible in our cynical moment. That's what makes Finch's work less like painter Chuck Close's monumentally brash pixilated portraits and more like German artist Thomas Ruff's nervous, distorted photographs based on Internet porn. Like Ruff, Finch asserts that the psychology of the subject is irrelevant; it's the psychology of whoever's looking that counts.

Finch teaches drawing and painting at Messiah College in Harrisburg, Penn., but his artistic roots trace back to Georgia, having earned his MFA at UGA. He joins a group of Athens-based painters — notably Kathryn Refi, Zuzka Vaclavik and Charles Westfall — who are beginning to make their marks in Atlanta. And Twin Kittens is fast becoming one of the important pipelines for that talent.

Finch makes paintings that are both cruel and kind. His heroes are muscular and energetic, but they also seem tragic and faraway. With a fragile touch, Finch captures both the longing and the pity of a hero's time passed away.

arts@creativeloafing.com"
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Daniel Finch explores that fertile territory of the televised image, the cultural icon, and the tenuous quality of viewership in ''Pipeline'', a terse sampling of paintings at [http://clatl.com/culturesurfing/archives/2010/06/21/super-cool-cats-twin-kittens-gallery-joins-the-westside-arts-district|the Westside's newest contemporary gallery, Twin Kittens].

Each of the four paintings that comprise the show depicts a central figure, always a male athlete of sorts, rendered as though seen on a television screen through bad reception. All of the distortions, doublings and halos endemic to the era of rabbit ears are retained, even celebrated, in the compositions.

Finch channels the technology of the screen itself, presenting the image as a field of overlapping dots of pure color. The figures — Evel Knievel, an inverted skateboarder, a stunt biker — are legible only from a distance, dissolving into pure abstraction up close.

Finch is borrowing from the toolkit of the late 19th-century pointillists, such as Georges Seurat, with this technique. But he's dropped their rigid, mechanical approach in favor of a lyrical syncopation. The procession of dabs and dots pulsate across the canvas in rhythmic variations of color and size.

For all the paintings, Finch casts his eye on icons suspended permanently in TV's flattened timescape. The artist has also taken on Bruce Lee, Tarzan and King Kong in previous work. In doing so, Finch follows in the brisk trade in icons of icons that pop art's been in love with since Andy Warhol met Elizabeth Taylor.

But Finch isn't a court reporter. He's a painter, and like most painters of the last few decades, he knows that objectivity is at least in crisis and might be all but dead. The subject of his paintings isn't so much the men on display as it is his distortions of the men on display. The grain and snow point back to the TV's own physical circumstance, to its status of being viewed. Finch isn't making portraits of what's on TV, he's making portraits of himself watching TV.

And what he's watching is mostly guys — tough manly men. His '70s-era images evoke the last moment in American culture when kids collectively believed in heroic public men — Lee Majors and O.J. Simpson — a belief that seems impossible in our cynical moment. That's what makes Finch's work less like painter Chuck Close's monumentally brash pixilated portraits and more like German artist Thomas Ruff's nervous, distorted photographs based on Internet porn. Like Ruff, Finch asserts that the psychology of the subject is irrelevant; it's the psychology of whoever's looking that counts.

Finch teaches drawing and painting at Messiah College in Harrisburg, Penn., but his artistic roots trace back to Georgia, having earned his MFA at UGA. He joins a group of Athens-based painters — notably Kathryn Refi, Zuzka Vaclavik and Charles Westfall — who are beginning to make their marks in Atlanta. And Twin Kittens is fast becoming one of the important pipelines for that talent.

Finch makes paintings that are both cruel and kind. His heroes are muscular and energetic, but they also seem tragic and faraway. With a fragile touch, Finch captures both the longing and the pity of a hero's time passed away.

[mailto:arts@creativeloafing.com|arts@creativeloafing.com]"
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  string(3801) "    Solo show at Twin Kittens examines the psychology of the watcher   2010-07-27T08:00:00+00:00 Daniel Finch resurrects the TV star in Pipeline   Cinque Hicks 1306447 2010-07-27T08:00:00+00:00  Iconoclasm is easy in the age of digital photography. It happens almost by accident: Mel Gibson loses his marbles with his ex and just like that, every amateur cell phone snapshot of Mel going apeshit ends up on E! It's easy to forget how much reverence images commanded when almost all the ones we saw in the mass media were planned and constructed.

Daniel Finch explores that fertile territory of the televised image, the cultural icon, and the tenuous quality of viewership in Pipeline, a terse sampling of paintings at the Westside's newest contemporary gallery, Twin Kittens.

Each of the four paintings that comprise the show depicts a central figure, always a male athlete of sorts, rendered as though seen on a television screen through bad reception. All of the distortions, doublings and halos endemic to the era of rabbit ears are retained, even celebrated, in the compositions.

Finch channels the technology of the screen itself, presenting the image as a field of overlapping dots of pure color. The figures — Evel Knievel, an inverted skateboarder, a stunt biker — are legible only from a distance, dissolving into pure abstraction up close.

Finch is borrowing from the toolkit of the late 19th-century pointillists, such as Georges Seurat, with this technique. But he's dropped their rigid, mechanical approach in favor of a lyrical syncopation. The procession of dabs and dots pulsate across the canvas in rhythmic variations of color and size.

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But Finch isn't a court reporter. He's a painter, and like most painters of the last few decades, he knows that objectivity is at least in crisis and might be all but dead. The subject of his paintings isn't so much the men on display as it is his distortions of the men on display. The grain and snow point back to the TV's own physical circumstance, to its status of being viewed. Finch isn't making portraits of what's on TV, he's making portraits of himself watching TV.

And what he's watching is mostly guys — tough manly men. His '70s-era images evoke the last moment in American culture when kids collectively believed in heroic public men — Lee Majors and O.J. Simpson — a belief that seems impossible in our cynical moment. That's what makes Finch's work less like painter Chuck Close's monumentally brash pixilated portraits and more like German artist Thomas Ruff's nervous, distorted photographs based on Internet porn. Like Ruff, Finch asserts that the psychology of the subject is irrelevant; it's the psychology of whoever's looking that counts.

Finch teaches drawing and painting at Messiah College in Harrisburg, Penn., but his artistic roots trace back to Georgia, having earned his MFA at UGA. He joins a group of Athens-based painters — notably Kathryn Refi, Zuzka Vaclavik and Charles Westfall — who are beginning to make their marks in Atlanta. And Twin Kittens is fast becoming one of the important pipelines for that talent.

Finch makes paintings that are both cruel and kind. His heroes are muscular and energetic, but they also seem tragic and faraway. With a fragile touch, Finch captures both the longing and the pity of a hero's time passed away.

arts@creativeloafing.com             13053542 1835357                          Daniel Finch resurrects the TV star in Pipeline "
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Tuesday July 27, 2010 04:00 am EDT
Solo show at Twin Kittens examines the psychology of the watcher | more...
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  string(3260) "The High Museum's Signs of Life: Photographs by Peter Sekaer is the sleeper photographic exhibition of the summer. A contemporary of Walker Evans and a student of Berenice Abbott, Sekaer was well-known in the 1930s and '40s but slipped through the cracks after his death in 1950, only to be rediscovered in the last few decades. Under its outgoing curator of photography, Julian Cox, the High has amassed the largest and most significant collection of the artist's work in the United States.

Sekaer, represented in this exhibition by 75 vintage prints, traveled the country and produced a significant body of Depression-era photographs while working as a photographer for U.S. government agencies such as the Housing Authority and the Rural Electrification Administration. The images reflect his considerable compositional skills, the intense compassion he felt for his subjects, and his own quirky perspective.

Sekaer came to the U.S. from Denmark at age 17. He arrived after the First World War and owned a successful poster and silkscreen business — an interest that resurfaces in his later photographs, which often include screened and painted graphics on the sides of buildings. Sekaer's attraction to the graphic art that littered early 20th-century urban landscape gives his small prints a visual verve comparable to that of paintings by his contemporary Stuart Davis, who used advertisements in ways that anticipated pop art.

Sekaer's "Restaurant Window, South Carolina," like all of the works in the exhibition, is a black-and-white print no larger than a foot in any direction. The seemingly simple image plays with the juxtaposition of two- and three-dimensional elements: A cartoonish drawing of a steaming cup and saucer decorates a torn and tattered curtain, as does a floral-printed fish-shaped patch. A reflection of the city's architecture can be seen in the glass, adding yet another layer of visual texture.

"Bowling Green, Virginia," also a photo of a window, shows an ornate frame and a graphic advertising 5-cent ice cream cones. By focusing on the graphic, Sekaer transforms an everyday encounter into a subject worthy of artistic treatment — something Andy Warhol would later become famous for with his paintings of soup cans.

"Family Shelling Pecans, Austin, Texas"  represents its subjects with quiet respect. Despite their obvious poverty, the three generations of the family do not demand our sympathy. They are focused on the task at hand, which they approach matter-of-factly. Sekaer recorded the ages of the family's members and the amount of work they had to do to earn 30-36 cents a day cracking pecans. His notes reveal the artist's awareness of his subjects' situation, and, in a way, his photograph accords them the dignity denied them by their circumstances. 

Although the world Sekaer recorded is long gone, his photographs remain relevant to contemporary life. His interest in the images and texts found on urban walls resonates amid the current local excitement over graffiti and other forms of street and public art, while his portraits of the homeless and impoverished are especially haunting in the context of our own recessionary economy. The High Museum has done well to rescue this artist from obscurity."
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Sekaer, represented in this exhibition by 75 vintage prints, traveled the country and produced a significant body of Depression-era photographs while working as a photographer for U.S. government agencies such as the Housing Authority and the Rural Electrification Administration. The images reflect his considerable compositional skills, the intense compassion he felt for his subjects, and his own quirky perspective.

Sekaer came to the U.S. from Denmark at age 17. He arrived after the First World War and owned a successful poster and silkscreen business — an interest that resurfaces in his later photographs, which often include screened and painted graphics on the sides of buildings. Sekaer's attraction to the graphic art that littered early 20th-century urban landscape gives his small prints a visual verve comparable to that of paintings by his contemporary Stuart Davis, who used advertisements in ways that anticipated pop art.

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  string(3501) "       2010-07-15T19:00:00+00:00 Photographer Peter Sekaer finds a home at the High   Deanna Sirlin 1306460 2010-07-15T19:00:00+00:00  The High Museum's Signs of Life: Photographs by Peter Sekaer is the sleeper photographic exhibition of the summer. A contemporary of Walker Evans and a student of Berenice Abbott, Sekaer was well-known in the 1930s and '40s but slipped through the cracks after his death in 1950, only to be rediscovered in the last few decades. Under its outgoing curator of photography, Julian Cox, the High has amassed the largest and most significant collection of the artist's work in the United States.

Sekaer, represented in this exhibition by 75 vintage prints, traveled the country and produced a significant body of Depression-era photographs while working as a photographer for U.S. government agencies such as the Housing Authority and the Rural Electrification Administration. The images reflect his considerable compositional skills, the intense compassion he felt for his subjects, and his own quirky perspective.

Sekaer came to the U.S. from Denmark at age 17. He arrived after the First World War and owned a successful poster and silkscreen business — an interest that resurfaces in his later photographs, which often include screened and painted graphics on the sides of buildings. Sekaer's attraction to the graphic art that littered early 20th-century urban landscape gives his small prints a visual verve comparable to that of paintings by his contemporary Stuart Davis, who used advertisements in ways that anticipated pop art.

Sekaer's "Restaurant Window, South Carolina," like all of the works in the exhibition, is a black-and-white print no larger than a foot in any direction. The seemingly simple image plays with the juxtaposition of two- and three-dimensional elements: A cartoonish drawing of a steaming cup and saucer decorates a torn and tattered curtain, as does a floral-printed fish-shaped patch. A reflection of the city's architecture can be seen in the glass, adding yet another layer of visual texture.

"Bowling Green, Virginia," also a photo of a window, shows an ornate frame and a graphic advertising 5-cent ice cream cones. By focusing on the graphic, Sekaer transforms an everyday encounter into a subject worthy of artistic treatment — something Andy Warhol would later become famous for with his paintings of soup cans.

"Family Shelling Pecans, Austin, Texas"  represents its subjects with quiet respect. Despite their obvious poverty, the three generations of the family do not demand our sympathy. They are focused on the task at hand, which they approach matter-of-factly. Sekaer recorded the ages of the family's members and the amount of work they had to do to earn 30-36 cents a day cracking pecans. His notes reveal the artist's awareness of his subjects' situation, and, in a way, his photograph accords them the dignity denied them by their circumstances. 

Although the world Sekaer recorded is long gone, his photographs remain relevant to contemporary life. His interest in the images and texts found on urban walls resonates amid the current local excitement over graffiti and other forms of street and public art, while his portraits of the homeless and impoverished are especially haunting in the context of our own recessionary economy. The High Museum has done well to rescue this artist from obscurity.             13053271 1718215                          Photographer Peter Sekaer finds a home at the High "
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Thursday July 15, 2010 03:00 pm EDT
The High Museum's Signs of Life: Photographs by Peter Sekaer is the sleeper photographic exhibition of the summer. A contemporary of Walker Evans and a student of Berenice Abbott, Sekaer was well-known in the 1930s and '40s but slipped through the cracks after his death in 1950, only to be rediscovered in the last few decades. Under its outgoing curator of photography, Julian Cox, the High has... | more...
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  string(3308) "Shana Robbins works in a small studio to the back of her Telephone Factory loft. The kitchen, the living room, and all the other rooms are neatly organized and clean, but her studio is, well, a mess. A huge window splashes light around the room and onto broken tree branches covered in shards of mirror; a mannequin dressed in a hand-stitched body suit of discolored doilies; piles of feathers; stacks of National Geographic; and plenty of things you might reasonably call junk. In the corner, a massive cut of amethyst anchors the center of what looks like a crystal altar. When Robbins, dressed in a black woven poncho dress, explains it normally doesn't look like this, it's hard to believe her.

In part, that's because Robbins makes messes so well. Each pile and stack is somehow fascinating. Even the shards of mirror covering the tree branches seem to have been carefully broken.

It's also hard to believe her because she's been working for the past year on the biggest exhibition of her career. Supernatural Conductor is the first exhibit to be shown at the Contemporary since its main gallery expansion. After looking at her work, it's obvious Robbins will need the space.

The show's centerpiece, the "Supernatural Conductor" itself, is a hand-stitched web of salvaged doilies that stretches nearly 20 feet across. That web, Robbins says, will be shaped into a "transformational shelter, where once you go inside you're changed. At the least, it transforms me into my characters."

Robbins' characters include "Tree Ghost," for which she dons a spectral-looking suit that sprouts branches like antlers from her head and covers her face and shoulders with a patchwork of doilies vaguely resembling a burka. "This is Me. Be Careful." wears a dress seemingly made from many dresses torn apart and reassembled, sewn together with pieces of bark, insects and beads. These characters appear in Robbins' paintings and drawings as well, though they don't necessarily start as one or the other.

"I tend to work in layers — I start from an internal place. Like with a spark of inspiration, I have to let it unwind. I can't just make a plan and go do a piece," she says. In talking about her process, Robbins is likewise prone to tangents. She explains where objects come from and how they accumulated into a work: A white doily woven into the center of a giant dream catcher, she says, is a gift from her grandmother. The conversation touches on art works she admires, such as Nick Cave's soundsuits and Leigh Bowery's costumes, and moves onto mythologies and spiritual practice.

While stitching the seemingly endless web of doilies for the "Supernatural Conductor," Robbins says she often thought of how "the spider woman is the galactic creator of Native American spiritual practice. She basically weaves the world from the galactic center. She connects everything and keeps it in balance."

"I was thinking a lot about how the world seems to be unraveling," she says. "But I think of my work as hopeful. I've been gluing mirrors to this dead tree for months. I'm trying to kind of revive this thing. When I'm sewing, I'm trying to revive, too. While things are unraveling, I'm trying to sew things back together at the same time and hopefully it's not unraveling quicker — do you know what I mean?""
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In part, that's because Robbins makes messes so well. Each pile and stack is somehow fascinating. Even the shards of mirror covering the tree branches seem to have been carefully broken.

It's also hard to believe her because she's been working for the past year on the biggest exhibition of her career. ''Supernatural Conductor'' is the first exhibit to be shown at the Contemporary since its main gallery expansion. After looking at her work, it's obvious Robbins will need the space.

The show's centerpiece, the "Supernatural Conductor" itself, is a hand-stitched web of salvaged doilies that stretches nearly 20 feet across. That web, Robbins says, will be shaped into a "transformational shelter, where once you go inside you're changed. At the least, it transforms me into my characters."

Robbins' characters include "Tree Ghost," for which she dons a spectral-looking suit that sprouts branches like antlers from her head and covers her face and shoulders with a patchwork of doilies vaguely resembling a burka. "This is Me. Be Careful." wears a dress seemingly made from many dresses torn apart and reassembled, sewn together with pieces of bark, insects and beads. These characters appear in Robbins' paintings and drawings as well, though they don't necessarily start as one or the other.

"I tend to work in layers — I start from an internal place. Like with a spark of inspiration, I have to let it unwind. I can't just make a plan and go do a piece," she says. In talking about her process, Robbins is likewise prone to tangents. She explains where objects come from and how they accumulated into a work: A white doily woven into the center of a giant dream catcher, she says, is a gift from her grandmother. The conversation touches on art works she admires, such as Nick Cave's soundsuits and Leigh Bowery's costumes, and moves onto mythologies and spiritual practice.

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"I was thinking a lot about how the world seems to be unraveling," she says. "But I think of my work as hopeful. I've been gluing mirrors to this dead tree for months. I'm trying to kind of revive this thing. When I'm sewing, I'm trying to revive, too. While things are unraveling, I'm trying to sew things back together at the same time and hopefully it's not unraveling quicker — do you know what I mean?""
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  string(3573) "    Artist readies for the biggest exhibition of her career   2010-07-05T15:00:00+00:00 This is Shana Robbins. Be careful.   Wyatt Williams 1306426 2010-07-05T15:00:00+00:00  Shana Robbins works in a small studio to the back of her Telephone Factory loft. The kitchen, the living room, and all the other rooms are neatly organized and clean, but her studio is, well, a mess. A huge window splashes light around the room and onto broken tree branches covered in shards of mirror; a mannequin dressed in a hand-stitched body suit of discolored doilies; piles of feathers; stacks of National Geographic; and plenty of things you might reasonably call junk. In the corner, a massive cut of amethyst anchors the center of what looks like a crystal altar. When Robbins, dressed in a black woven poncho dress, explains it normally doesn't look like this, it's hard to believe her.

In part, that's because Robbins makes messes so well. Each pile and stack is somehow fascinating. Even the shards of mirror covering the tree branches seem to have been carefully broken.

It's also hard to believe her because she's been working for the past year on the biggest exhibition of her career. Supernatural Conductor is the first exhibit to be shown at the Contemporary since its main gallery expansion. After looking at her work, it's obvious Robbins will need the space.

The show's centerpiece, the "Supernatural Conductor" itself, is a hand-stitched web of salvaged doilies that stretches nearly 20 feet across. That web, Robbins says, will be shaped into a "transformational shelter, where once you go inside you're changed. At the least, it transforms me into my characters."

Robbins' characters include "Tree Ghost," for which she dons a spectral-looking suit that sprouts branches like antlers from her head and covers her face and shoulders with a patchwork of doilies vaguely resembling a burka. "This is Me. Be Careful." wears a dress seemingly made from many dresses torn apart and reassembled, sewn together with pieces of bark, insects and beads. These characters appear in Robbins' paintings and drawings as well, though they don't necessarily start as one or the other.

"I tend to work in layers — I start from an internal place. Like with a spark of inspiration, I have to let it unwind. I can't just make a plan and go do a piece," she says. In talking about her process, Robbins is likewise prone to tangents. She explains where objects come from and how they accumulated into a work: A white doily woven into the center of a giant dream catcher, she says, is a gift from her grandmother. The conversation touches on art works she admires, such as Nick Cave's soundsuits and Leigh Bowery's costumes, and moves onto mythologies and spiritual practice.

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Monday July 5, 2010 11:00 am EDT
Artist readies for the biggest exhibition of her career | more...
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  string(47) "Artists exchanges ideas, techniques in Seepages"
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  string(3119) "Caroline Lathan-Stiefel, curator and participating artist for Seepages, invited six artist friends and colleagues from both Atlanta, where she used to live, and her present hometown of Philadelphia to join her in the exhibition at Whitespace Gallery. As the title suggests, ideas pass back and forth between artists, and techniques seep into one artist's work through connections with others. 

Lathan-Stiefel and her colleagues share interests in collage techniques and Cubist juxtapositions of real objects and represented ones. Lathan-Stiefel contributes three-dimensional collages in the colorful manners of Jessica Stockholder and early Judy Pfaff. Found, recycled, and household objects combine into works that read as single units and bring to mind artist Sarah Sze. Lathan-Stiefel employs pipe cleaners, bits of fabric, bottle caps, and plastic bags as another artist would use paint: A line in her work might be made from a combination of yellow bottle caps and pompom balls. In "Roam," recycled plastic bags take on myriad banana-like forms and spew out of and across the wall to create a relief in red, white and black. Her works are like fishing nets filled with colorful retrieved treasures. 

Atlantan John Otte's two collages, "Sugar and Shit," and "Jazzin'," are made from found printed matter and convey a surrealist feel. "Sugar and Shit" has as its background a map of New Orleans used by Prospect.1, a 2008 New Orleans biennial that contained few of the city's artists. A washed out living room filled with dirt and decay lies on top of the map, and, in the center, a reproduction from a painting of a window sticks up into space like the sail of a ship. Otte's complex layering of different realities produces the effect of bizarre cubist news photos. 

Arden Bendler Browning also draws on a variety of visual languages and pushes everything into one space. In the huge "Blindspots," she uses opaque watercolor and Flashe, a flat and intensely saturated paint, on Tyvek in a compacted image that seems to include everything and the kitchen sink: It goes too far, but that's what makes the work memorable. 

Equally large but less successful is "Smoke Drawing" by Ward Davenny and Kate Stewart, who use fire and soot as their media. This idea was fresh when Yves Klein made his fire paintings almost 50 years ago, and was explored further by John Cage in his smoke drawings, but Davenny and Stewart are inelegantly reinventing this particular wheel rather than doing anything new with it. 

Thomas Vance makes creative use of faux wood-grain patterns in lovingly handcrafted two- and three-dimensional works that recall the ironic, deadpan humor of early Warhol and Lichtenstein. Imagine Mondrian using drawn wood grain instead of painted squares. 

In its entirety, Seepages resembles one of Lathan-Stiefel's assemblages: The work of each artist, like each found element in one of her pieces, both takes its place in an overall arrangement and contrasts provocatively with the other works around it. And in turn, the world around us resembles Seepages, a hodgepodge of systems, all interconnected."
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  string(3131) "Caroline Lathan-Stiefel, curator and participating artist for ''Seepages'', invited six artist friends and colleagues from both Atlanta, where she used to live, and her present hometown of Philadelphia to join her in the exhibition at Whitespace Gallery. As the title suggests, ideas pass back and forth between artists, and techniques seep into one artist's work through connections with others. 

Lathan-Stiefel and her colleagues share interests in collage techniques and Cubist juxtapositions of real objects and represented ones. Lathan-Stiefel contributes three-dimensional collages in the colorful manners of Jessica Stockholder and early Judy Pfaff. Found, recycled, and household objects combine into works that read as single units and bring to mind artist Sarah Sze. Lathan-Stiefel employs pipe cleaners, bits of fabric, bottle caps, and plastic bags as another artist would use paint: A line in her work might be made from a combination of yellow bottle caps and pompom balls. In "Roam," recycled plastic bags take on myriad banana-like forms and spew out of and across the wall to create a relief in red, white and black. Her works are like fishing nets filled with colorful retrieved treasures. 

Atlantan John Otte's two collages, "Sugar and Shit," and "Jazzin'," are made from found printed matter and convey a surrealist feel. "Sugar and Shit" has as its background a map of New Orleans used by Prospect.1, a 2008 New Orleans biennial that contained few of the city's artists. A washed out living room filled with dirt and decay lies on top of the map, and, in the center, a reproduction from a painting of a window sticks up into space like the sail of a ship. Otte's complex layering of different realities produces the effect of bizarre cubist news photos. 

Arden Bendler Browning also draws on a variety of visual languages and pushes everything into one space. In the huge "Blindspots," she uses opaque watercolor and Flashe, a flat and intensely saturated paint, on Tyvek in a compacted image that seems to include everything and the kitchen sink: It goes too far, but that's what makes the work memorable. 

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In its entirety, ''Seepages'' resembles one of Lathan-Stiefel's assemblages: The work of each artist, like each found element in one of her pieces, both takes its place in an overall arrangement and contrasts provocatively with the other works around it. And in turn, the world around us resembles ''Seepages'', a hodgepodge of systems, all interconnected."
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  string(3354) "       2010-07-02T08:00:00+00:00 Artists exchanges ideas, techniques in Seepages   Deanna Sirlin 1306460 2010-07-02T08:00:00+00:00  Caroline Lathan-Stiefel, curator and participating artist for Seepages, invited six artist friends and colleagues from both Atlanta, where she used to live, and her present hometown of Philadelphia to join her in the exhibition at Whitespace Gallery. As the title suggests, ideas pass back and forth between artists, and techniques seep into one artist's work through connections with others. 

Lathan-Stiefel and her colleagues share interests in collage techniques and Cubist juxtapositions of real objects and represented ones. Lathan-Stiefel contributes three-dimensional collages in the colorful manners of Jessica Stockholder and early Judy Pfaff. Found, recycled, and household objects combine into works that read as single units and bring to mind artist Sarah Sze. Lathan-Stiefel employs pipe cleaners, bits of fabric, bottle caps, and plastic bags as another artist would use paint: A line in her work might be made from a combination of yellow bottle caps and pompom balls. In "Roam," recycled plastic bags take on myriad banana-like forms and spew out of and across the wall to create a relief in red, white and black. Her works are like fishing nets filled with colorful retrieved treasures. 

Atlantan John Otte's two collages, "Sugar and Shit," and "Jazzin'," are made from found printed matter and convey a surrealist feel. "Sugar and Shit" has as its background a map of New Orleans used by Prospect.1, a 2008 New Orleans biennial that contained few of the city's artists. A washed out living room filled with dirt and decay lies on top of the map, and, in the center, a reproduction from a painting of a window sticks up into space like the sail of a ship. Otte's complex layering of different realities produces the effect of bizarre cubist news photos. 

Arden Bendler Browning also draws on a variety of visual languages and pushes everything into one space. In the huge "Blindspots," she uses opaque watercolor and Flashe, a flat and intensely saturated paint, on Tyvek in a compacted image that seems to include everything and the kitchen sink: It goes too far, but that's what makes the work memorable. 

Equally large but less successful is "Smoke Drawing" by Ward Davenny and Kate Stewart, who use fire and soot as their media. This idea was fresh when Yves Klein made his fire paintings almost 50 years ago, and was explored further by John Cage in his smoke drawings, but Davenny and Stewart are inelegantly reinventing this particular wheel rather than doing anything new with it. 

Thomas Vance makes creative use of faux wood-grain patterns in lovingly handcrafted two- and three-dimensional works that recall the ironic, deadpan humor of early Warhol and Lichtenstein. Imagine Mondrian using drawn wood grain instead of painted squares. 

In its entirety, Seepages resembles one of Lathan-Stiefel's assemblages: The work of each artist, like each found element in one of her pieces, both takes its place in an overall arrangement and contrasts provocatively with the other works around it. And in turn, the world around us resembles Seepages, a hodgepodge of systems, all interconnected.             13052964 1584828                          Artists exchanges ideas, techniques in Seepages "
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Friday July 2, 2010 04:00 am EDT
Caroline Lathan-Stiefel, curator and participating artist for Seepages, invited six artist friends and colleagues from both Atlanta, where she used to live, and her present hometown of Philadelphia to join her in the exhibition at Whitespace Gallery. As the title suggests, ideas pass back and forth between artists, and techniques seep into one artist's work through connections with others.... | more...
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Belingheri is process-focused: His mixed-media works on paper or canvas are all variations on the same theme. They share a common background — a neutral, textured shade of tan. Only the colors change from work to work. "Façades/Cerulean" has a multitude of orbs in different blues, built up slightly off the painting's surface. The artist has added layers of color upon color as if he were trying on sweaters to see which goes best with the rest of the outfit.

If it sounds formulaic that's because it is. Belingheri writes in his artist statement, "I paint like a tradesman, a baker, a knitter; making adjustments to the colors and surface and how it makes me feel; still being influenced by the thoughts of patterns and relationships. ... And when it is finished I wonder what does it all mean? Meaning is an afterthought." Endless variation on a theme is the point, but as a collection it's too redundant. There's a blue one, a red one, a green one ... all in different sizes. This is painting as high-craft rather than art. It is like knitting, albeit highly skilled knitting.

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Monday June 14, 2010 04:00 am EDT
Collections explore different types of obsession | more...

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  string(3223) "In a small but powerful solo show of paintings, photographs, and  video at Marcia Wood Gallery, San Francisco Bay Area artist Kim Anno  tackles abstraction with gusto for the painted surface. Uncompromisingly  committed to non-representational painting, Anno says in her artist  statement, "I want to make the last abstract painting I can before it  becomes narrative." 

 
Anno’s work reflects the assurance of one who knows her medium —  specifically, how to achieve luminosity with paint. She’s executed her  midsize paintings on wood or aluminum rather than stretched canvas. The  paint-tinted aluminum panels have a distinct shimmer. To create the  shapes their surfaces, Anno poured paints of different densities and  then manipulated the images by tilting or wiping them. The work looks  improvised, as if the artist allowed her compositions to reveal  themselves rather than predetermining them. 

 
The elegant horizontal work “Sheer” fits a large swath of opaque  white with a deep alizarin crimson so transparent it reveals the shiny  aluminum underneath. A thin passage of burnt orange at the work’s top  melts into the white. Peacock blue stretches down the painting’s right  side and settles into a cartoony brushstroke that separates into three  different colors. Periwinkle thrusts upward into the white and dissolves  there. A tiny string of red drips down the left above a soupçon of  verdant green along the bottom.

 
There’s no narrative here, but no need for one either. Instead, there  is the sublimity that occurs when an artist gets it just right; when  all the pieces of an abstract composition fall into place, all the tones  work together, and the linear elements direct the eye around the  painting in a meaningful trajectory. 

 
Anno’s work in media other than painting does contain distinct  narratives. She’s a committed environmentalist; her exquisite videos,  which juxtapose representations of nature with real natural elements and  refer to human intervention in the natural environment, are the first  things you see upon entering the gallery. Anno suspends landscape photos  culled from National Geographic and other sources in an aquarium  full of water, then pours ink into the water and drops in objects. The  ink drifts through the water, creating an effect similar to John Cage’s  smoke drawings. Like Cage, the artist relinquishes full control of the  works by allowing the ink to create its own paths and the objects to  float or sink according to the laws of gravity. 

 
One video, “In the West,” shares its title with a book on Nebraska  history from which the artist whispers select passages. The video is  manipulated so that we see both the book and its mirror image, like a  Rorschach blot resembling a butterfly. Watching white ink spill and  swirl as it irradiates the image in “Yosemite,” it’s difficult not to  think about the current ecological catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico.  Areas of color that bleed into and rub up against one another appear in  all of Anno’s work. While her painting remains abstract, her work in  video and photography use similar means to articulate a passionate  commentary on our treatment of nature."
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Anno’s work reflects the assurance of one who knows her medium —  specifically, how to achieve luminosity with paint. She’s executed her  midsize paintings on wood or aluminum rather than stretched canvas. The  paint-tinted aluminum panels have a distinct shimmer. To create the  shapes their surfaces, Anno poured paints of different densities and  then manipulated the images by tilting or wiping them. The work looks  improvised, as if the artist allowed her compositions to reveal  themselves rather than predetermining them. 

 
The elegant horizontal work “Sheer” fits a large swath of opaque  white with a deep alizarin crimson so transparent it reveals the shiny  aluminum underneath. A thin passage of burnt orange at the work’s top  melts into the white. Peacock blue stretches down the painting’s right  side and settles into a cartoony brushstroke that separates into three  different colors. Periwinkle thrusts upward into the white and dissolves  there. A tiny string of red drips down the left above a soupçon of  verdant green along the bottom.

 
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  string(3473) "    Artist tackles abstraction with gusto for the painted surface   2010-05-29T14:00:00+00:00 Kim Anno's liberal media   Deanna Sirlin 1306460 2010-05-29T14:00:00+00:00  In a small but powerful solo show of paintings, photographs, and  video at Marcia Wood Gallery, San Francisco Bay Area artist Kim Anno  tackles abstraction with gusto for the painted surface. Uncompromisingly  committed to non-representational painting, Anno says in her artist  statement, "I want to make the last abstract painting I can before it  becomes narrative." 

 
Anno’s work reflects the assurance of one who knows her medium —  specifically, how to achieve luminosity with paint. She’s executed her  midsize paintings on wood or aluminum rather than stretched canvas. The  paint-tinted aluminum panels have a distinct shimmer. To create the  shapes their surfaces, Anno poured paints of different densities and  then manipulated the images by tilting or wiping them. The work looks  improvised, as if the artist allowed her compositions to reveal  themselves rather than predetermining them. 

 
The elegant horizontal work “Sheer” fits a large swath of opaque  white with a deep alizarin crimson so transparent it reveals the shiny  aluminum underneath. A thin passage of burnt orange at the work’s top  melts into the white. Peacock blue stretches down the painting’s right  side and settles into a cartoony brushstroke that separates into three  different colors. Periwinkle thrusts upward into the white and dissolves  there. A tiny string of red drips down the left above a soupçon of  verdant green along the bottom.

 
There’s no narrative here, but no need for one either. Instead, there  is the sublimity that occurs when an artist gets it just right; when  all the pieces of an abstract composition fall into place, all the tones  work together, and the linear elements direct the eye around the  painting in a meaningful trajectory. 

 
Anno’s work in media other than painting does contain distinct  narratives. She’s a committed environmentalist; her exquisite videos,  which juxtapose representations of nature with real natural elements and  refer to human intervention in the natural environment, are the first  things you see upon entering the gallery. Anno suspends landscape photos  culled from National Geographic and other sources in an aquarium  full of water, then pours ink into the water and drops in objects. The  ink drifts through the water, creating an effect similar to John Cage’s  smoke drawings. Like Cage, the artist relinquishes full control of the  works by allowing the ink to create its own paths and the objects to  float or sink according to the laws of gravity. 

 
One video, “In the West,” shares its title with a book on Nebraska  history from which the artist whispers select passages. The video is  manipulated so that we see both the book and its mirror image, like a  Rorschach blot resembling a butterfly. Watching white ink spill and  swirl as it irradiates the image in “Yosemite,” it’s difficult not to  think about the current ecological catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico.  Areas of color that bleed into and rub up against one another appear in  all of Anno’s work. While her painting remains abstract, her work in  video and photography use similar means to articulate a passionate  commentary on our treatment of nature.             13038470 1432778                          Kim Anno's liberal media "
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Saturday May 29, 2010 10:00 am EDT
Artist tackles abstraction with gusto for the painted surface | more...
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  string(2940) "Re-purposed: The Use of Everyday Materials in Contemporary Art at Emily Amy Gallery has a premise that is so sweeping, it sounds more like a major museum show than a four-artist exhibition at a single gallery. So it’s not surprising that it doesn’t entirely live up to the scope of its own billing. 

 The spacious gallery provides three of the four artists with rooms to themselves. Clayton Santiago’s resin-soaked constructions occupy the remaining walls. Sara Cole’s gouache, coffee and graphite works on paper are the most elegant of the group, amplified in part by the thoughtful restraint of their white mats and framing. Cole gives each sheet of paper a generous stain of coffee and adds the silhouetted contours of leaves, which interlock into wreath-like clusters. The result is a mediated vision of suspended shape and movement, like the surface of a pond. Cole’s strength — the step-by-step regularity of her method — might also be a limitation. Once she hits her note she doesn’t stray far from it, so the best of the pieces aren’t vastly different from the worst.  

 Will Corr’s painted reliefs fill the gallery’s back room. Corr combines tar paper, wood and paint to illustrate a menu of simple motifs: land, tree, water, boat. There are moments, as in “Cloud Climbing in Utopia,” when Corr’s more aggressive collage elements yield flickers of genuine surprise. Sherry Williams’ large unframed ink drawings have a melon and rust palette that delivers immediate visual impact. Her works borrow equally from Ralph Steadman’s controlled ink splattering and Man Ray’s pictograms, as when she imprints the paper with real objects such as as light bulbs and farm tools. Willams’ two best works, “Surface Horizon” and “Tension Release,” succeed because the works’ large scale allows for balance between the manic energy of the artist’s brushwork and the static force of the dark, imprinted shapes.   

 Upon reflection, it might be that the exhibition title itself is a feint. It’s true that the artists in Re-purposed use everyday materials in gently uncommon ways. But there’s no attempt to answer the more complex question as to why artists do this. Recruiting non-art materials for artistic service has always created a volatile marriage of art and life. For the Dadaists mentioned in the gallery press release, the incorporation of everyday objects served as a critical tool with which great assumptions might be toppled. It was radical and revolutionary.   

 Not so for the artists here. It could be argued that every work by every artist in the exhibition points toward a single purpose: the frictionless assimilation into the up-market domus. The subtext is that the wild re-purposing enacted by our artistic forefathers has now been fully domesticated. On purpose.

http://blogs.creativeloafing.com/culturesurfing/2010/05/14/preview-re-purposed-at-the-emily-amy-gallery/"
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 The spacious gallery provides three of the four artists with rooms to themselves. Clayton Santiago’s resin-soaked constructions occupy the remaining walls. Sara Cole’s gouache, coffee and graphite works on paper are the most elegant of the group, amplified in part by the thoughtful restraint of their white mats and framing. Cole gives each sheet of paper a generous stain of coffee and adds the silhouetted contours of leaves, which interlock into wreath-like clusters. The result is a mediated vision of suspended shape and movement, like the surface of a pond. Cole’s strength — the step-by-step regularity of her method — might also be a limitation. Once she hits her note she doesn’t stray far from it, so the best of the pieces aren’t vastly different from the worst.  

 Will Corr’s painted reliefs fill the gallery’s back room. Corr combines tar paper, wood and paint to illustrate a menu of simple motifs: land, tree, water, boat. There are moments, as in “Cloud Climbing in Utopia,” when Corr’s more aggressive collage elements yield flickers of genuine surprise. Sherry Williams’ large unframed ink drawings have a melon and rust palette that delivers immediate visual impact. Her works borrow equally from Ralph Steadman’s controlled ink splattering and Man Ray’s pictograms, as when she imprints the paper with real objects such as as light bulbs and farm tools. Willams’ two best works, “Surface Horizon” and “Tension Release,” succeed because the works’ large scale allows for balance between the manic energy of the artist’s brushwork and the static force of the dark, imprinted shapes.   

 Upon reflection, it might be that the exhibition title itself is a feint. It’s true that the artists in ''Re-purposed'' use everyday materials in gently uncommon ways. But there’s no attempt to answer the more complex question as to why artists do this. Recruiting non-art materials for artistic service has always created a volatile marriage of art and life. For the Dadaists mentioned in the gallery press release, the incorporation of everyday objects served as a critical tool with which great assumptions might be toppled. It was radical and revolutionary.   

 Not so for the artists here. It could be argued that every work by every artist in the exhibition points toward a single purpose: the frictionless assimilation into the up-market ''domus''. The subtext is that the wild re-purposing enacted by our artistic forefathers has now been fully domesticated. On purpose.

[http://blogs.creativeloafing.com/culturesurfing/2010/05/14/preview-re-purposed-at-the-emily-amy-gallery/|]"
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  string(3225) "    Exhibition at Emily Amy Gallery doesn't entirely live up to the scope of its own billing   2010-05-25T08:00:00+00:00 Re-purposed domesticates art   Craig Drennen 1429637 2010-05-25T08:00:00+00:00  Re-purposed: The Use of Everyday Materials in Contemporary Art at Emily Amy Gallery has a premise that is so sweeping, it sounds more like a major museum show than a four-artist exhibition at a single gallery. So it’s not surprising that it doesn’t entirely live up to the scope of its own billing. 

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 Will Corr’s painted reliefs fill the gallery’s back room. Corr combines tar paper, wood and paint to illustrate a menu of simple motifs: land, tree, water, boat. There are moments, as in “Cloud Climbing in Utopia,” when Corr’s more aggressive collage elements yield flickers of genuine surprise. Sherry Williams’ large unframed ink drawings have a melon and rust palette that delivers immediate visual impact. Her works borrow equally from Ralph Steadman’s controlled ink splattering and Man Ray’s pictograms, as when she imprints the paper with real objects such as as light bulbs and farm tools. Willams’ two best works, “Surface Horizon” and “Tension Release,” succeed because the works’ large scale allows for balance between the manic energy of the artist’s brushwork and the static force of the dark, imprinted shapes.   

 Upon reflection, it might be that the exhibition title itself is a feint. It’s true that the artists in Re-purposed use everyday materials in gently uncommon ways. But there’s no attempt to answer the more complex question as to why artists do this. Recruiting non-art materials for artistic service has always created a volatile marriage of art and life. For the Dadaists mentioned in the gallery press release, the incorporation of everyday objects served as a critical tool with which great assumptions might be toppled. It was radical and revolutionary.   

 Not so for the artists here. It could be argued that every work by every artist in the exhibition points toward a single purpose: the frictionless assimilation into the up-market domus. The subtext is that the wild re-purposing enacted by our artistic forefathers has now been fully domesticated. On purpose.

http://blogs.creativeloafing.com/culturesurfing/2010/05/14/preview-re-purposed-at-the-emily-amy-gallery/             13038444 1432705                          Re-purposed domesticates art "
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Tuesday May 25, 2010 04:00 am EDT
Exhibition at Emily Amy Gallery doesn't entirely live up to the scope of its own billing | more...
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  string(43) "Series of exhibitions experiment with lines"
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  string(3448) "Artists who like making marks are constantly drawing, whether on fine acid-free paper, a napkin or an underpass. The artist’s hand is compelled to doodle, to inscribe, to tag, to draw. The surrealists called this “automatic drawing,” and saw it as a means of freeing the unconscious. The influence of surrealist automatic drawing is visible in the current exhibitions at MOCA GA, although each artist addresses it in her own way. Susan Cofer’s process for Absence of Certainty most closely resembles the stream-of-consciousness approach. In From Hatcher’s Pond, photographer Lucinda Bunnen frames natural subjects so that their forms seem like spontaneously drawn lines. Rocío Rodríguez addresses the tension between planned composition and impulsive gesture in the monumental wall drawing for A Drawing Installation.   

 From Hatcher’s Pond is a suite of large-scale digitally printed photos. The photos show a dense, primeval blue-gray pond with lotus plants sticking out of its reflective surface. The forms emerging from the water suggest both Cy Twombly’s painted marks and Andre Masson’s automatic drawings. The linear black plants evoke the hand of a master calligrapher working in brush and ink. The effect is dreamy, and recalls surrealist painter Yves Tanguy’s black biomorphic forms rising out of the primordial muck.  

 Bunnen’s extreme close-ups of the pond — there are no shorelines or horizons — surround the viewer on all sides, creating an intimate, immersive experience. The works are meditative in the way Monet’s water lilies are: Monet lived and painted for 43 years in the water garden of his home in Giverny, France, finding abstraction in close-ups of the lilies in his pond. Bunnen has found her Giverny in Hatcher’s Pond.  

 Rodríguez’s large drawing has been executed in charcoal directly on the horizontal wall of MOCA GA’s education gallery. The work partakes of her characteristic imagery, which combines abstracted landscapes and cityscapes with cartography. The drawing suggests a catastrophic rumble of architectural and curvilinear forms exploding across the wall in her signature chaos. Rodríguez’s scribbles coalesce into form as the drawing plays on the tension between planned and spontaneous composition. Although parts of the wall drawing look like automatic writing, Rodríguez planned the work in multiple studies. Ultimately, she took the characteristics of the wall itself into consideration, reacting to its bumps and fissures created by layers of paint.  

 Reis Birdwhistell’s brilliant five-minute video of Rodriguez at work accompanies the drawing. Birdwhistell installed a camera to automatically photograph the artist, and created a five-minute animated time-lapse video from 3,000 still photos. 

 Also on view is Susan Cofer’s Absence of Certainty, 10 drawings composed of repeated vertical lines on torn paper. At the exhibition’s opening, Cofer could be seen moving her hand up and down like the slowed-down motion of a sewing machine to describe her process. Cofer’s work literally is automatic: She does not know exactly where the movement will take her in each drawing. 

 At first glance, the three artists appear to have little in common. But their simultaneous exhibitions at MOCA GA make up a satisfying whole because of their shared passion for the line — whether drawn or photographed, discovered or invented, planned or spontaneous."
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Thursday May 20, 2010 04:00 am EDT
Series of exhibitions experiment with lines | more...
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  string(2561) "In the South, there's a professed passion for the past and things that show the impasto of age: We understand the beauty of decay. This ideology is also found in the work of New York photographer Andrew Moore, who traveled to Detroit, Mich., seven times from 2008 to 2009 and recorded the city's abject elegance. Economically, Detroit is way past its prime. The remnants of the auto industry, including factories, offices, warehouses, and businesses that depended on autoworkers, have gone to ruin. Moore's photographic pilgrimages yielded the work that comprises his current exhibition, Detroit, on view at Jackson Fine Art, as well as the book Detroit Disassembled.

Moore's an exceptional technician. He still shoots 8-by-10 negatives that he scans and prints digitally. The images are extraordinarily crisp. Thanks to his attention to craft, every detail and nuance stands in sharp focus.

Like photographers Thomas Struth, Jeff Wall and Andreas Gursky, Moore works in the traditional scale of monumental paintings – a trend that's developed since digital printing began competing with photography. Scale has power, particularly for Moore, since the large size makes his works' details that much more visible. In "Rouge, Detroit," each girder in the roof of a dilapidated factory becomes a perspectival line that leads the eye through the cavernous space, pausing to absorb the specific textures of decaying wood and rusting metal. The generous size of Moore's work also makes his use of vivid color even more dramatic. The factory walls in "Rouge, Detroit" modulate in rich tones from purple to rust on the left and green to gray on the right. The colors are so extraordinary, that they appear to have been digitally manipulated: They were not.

Moore's work is particularly evocative in its rendering of decay; he brings out the fascinating strangeness of neglected and abandoned buildings. In "Organ Screen UA Theater, Detroit," an old movie house's flaking Gothic filigree calls to mind a mysterious mosque or an ancient church recently unearthed by an archaeologist. "National Time, Detroit" centers on a large clock that literally melted on the wall, bringing Salvador Dali's "The Persistence of Memory" to life. In "Model T HQ, Detroit," a paneled room appears at first glance to be carpeted in green shag. A second look reveals that bright green moss has taken over the entire floor, as the ruins of industry return to nature.

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Moore's an exceptional technician. He still shoots 8-by-10 negatives that he scans and prints digitally. The images are extraordinarily crisp. Thanks to his attention to craft, every detail and nuance stands in sharp focus.

Like photographers Thomas Struth, Jeff Wall and Andreas Gursky, Moore works in the traditional scale of monumental paintings – a trend that's developed since digital printing began competing with photography. Scale has power, particularly for Moore, since the large size makes his works' details that much more visible. In "Rouge, Detroit," each girder in the roof of a dilapidated factory becomes a perspectival line that leads the eye through the cavernous space, pausing to absorb the specific textures of decaying wood and rusting metal. The generous size of Moore's work also makes his use of vivid color even more dramatic. The factory walls in "Rouge, Detroit" modulate in rich tones from purple to rust on the left and green to gray on the right. The colors are so extraordinary, that they appear to have been digitally manipulated: They were not.

Moore's work is particularly evocative in its rendering of decay; he brings out the fascinating strangeness of neglected and abandoned buildings. In "Organ Screen UA Theater, Detroit," an old movie house's flaking Gothic filigree calls to mind a mysterious mosque or an ancient church recently unearthed by an archaeologist. "National Time, Detroit" centers on a large clock that literally melted on the wall, bringing Salvador Dali's "The Persistence of Memory" to life. In "Model T HQ, Detroit," a paneled room appears at first glance to be carpeted in green shag. A second look reveals that bright green moss has taken over the entire floor, as the ruins of industry return to nature.

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Wednesday April 28, 2010 04:00 am EDT
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  string(3602) "In elementary school, I ate from a doghouse. While my classmates brought their peanut butter and jellies in those iconic metal boxes, I broke ranks with a plastic, yellow, barn-shaped lunchbox that replicated Snoopy's doggie domicile. By high school, however, lunchboxes fell from favor as we collectively chose to brown-bag it.  

 Today, young people probably only know lunchboxes as ironic accessories for grown-ups with day jobs. ("I may work at a cube farm, but I'm hip enough to carry a Hellboy lunchbox!") Alcove Gallery's Cartoon Madness V: The Lunchbox Show evokes the youthful energy and kitschy design of old-school meal carriers. The Lunchbox Show proves less diverse than the series' previous exhibit, Circus. Here, it feels like most of the participants could've cranked out their contributions over a lunch hour. Nevertheless, Alcove serves the art world equivalent of a tasty snack. 

 Scores of lunchboxes hang from meat hooks on the gallery's walls. Most works have different designs on either side, and it's OK to touch the art. Many artists take inspiration from the idea of happy foodstuffs (à la those singing, marching concessions from the old "Let's All Go to the Lobby" cartoon). Jay Rogers' "Alimentary School Pals" presents vacuously grinning food and drink items on the front, with the same characters being digested in a stomach on the back. 

 Most classic lunchboxes served as promotional items for TV shows and forgotten cultural icons. Dave MacDowell's "Jack" crafts a One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest tie-in with Jack Nicholson's insolent, ill-shaven face splashed across the front. Other artists take a more personal approach, such as Dirk Hays in "Uncle Daddy and the Kissing Cousins," the name of the local band in which the East Atlanta Tattoo owner plays. Appropriately, the work is a primitive, canteen-like container with a wooden handle and a leering, overall-wearing beaver on the side. Extra points go to artists who extend their concept to the lunchbox's thermos: for "Uncle Daddy," Hays provides a XXX moonshine jar. Hays' "Hitler Youth Reich" features cherubic Nazi tots, a container marked "Kraut-in-a-Can" and holds the thermos in place with a length of barbed wire. 

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 For "Crunch Time," Russ Vick turns a lunchbox into the wide-jawed face of a monster with rubbery limbs. Perhaps the most elaborate, gizmo-laden item of all is Trish Chenard of Blast-Off Burlesque's "Kaiser Robot of the Food Freedom Fighters 2138," which converts the lunchbox into the chest of a rusted robot constructed largely of kitchenware and found objects.  

 One piece stands out from the painted metal boxes, however. Paul Leroy's "Sack of Anarchy" presents a crumpled, stylized brown bag streaked with red (almost like a melting candle). Leroy's piece hints at the anarchic impulses of adolescence as well as the end of the Golden Age of the lunchbox. The Lunchbox Show satisfies and it's fun to imagine having Richie Rich-like funds to buy out Alcove and carry a different box each week."
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  string(3891) "    Cartoon Madness V: The Lunchbox Show satisfies   2010-04-27T14:00:00+00:00 Alcove Gallery's latest snacks on lunchbox concept   Curt Holman Curt Holman 2010-04-27T14:00:00+00:00  In elementary school, I ate from a doghouse. While my classmates brought their peanut butter and jellies in those iconic metal boxes, I broke ranks with a plastic, yellow, barn-shaped lunchbox that replicated Snoopy's doggie domicile. By high school, however, lunchboxes fell from favor as we collectively chose to brown-bag it.  

 Today, young people probably only know lunchboxes as ironic accessories for grown-ups with day jobs. ("I may work at a cube farm, but I'm hip enough to carry a Hellboy lunchbox!") Alcove Gallery's Cartoon Madness V: The Lunchbox Show evokes the youthful energy and kitschy design of old-school meal carriers. The Lunchbox Show proves less diverse than the series' previous exhibit, Circus. Here, it feels like most of the participants could've cranked out their contributions over a lunch hour. Nevertheless, Alcove serves the art world equivalent of a tasty snack. 

 Scores of lunchboxes hang from meat hooks on the gallery's walls. Most works have different designs on either side, and it's OK to touch the art. Many artists take inspiration from the idea of happy foodstuffs (à la those singing, marching concessions from the old "Let's All Go to the Lobby" cartoon). Jay Rogers' "Alimentary School Pals" presents vacuously grinning food and drink items on the front, with the same characters being digested in a stomach on the back. 

 Most classic lunchboxes served as promotional items for TV shows and forgotten cultural icons. Dave MacDowell's "Jack" crafts a One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest tie-in with Jack Nicholson's insolent, ill-shaven face splashed across the front. Other artists take a more personal approach, such as Dirk Hays in "Uncle Daddy and the Kissing Cousins," the name of the local band in which the East Atlanta Tattoo owner plays. Appropriately, the work is a primitive, canteen-like container with a wooden handle and a leering, overall-wearing beaver on the side. Extra points go to artists who extend their concept to the lunchbox's thermos: for "Uncle Daddy," Hays provides a XXX moonshine jar. Hays' "Hitler Youth Reich" features cherubic Nazi tots, a container marked "Kraut-in-a-Can" and holds the thermos in place with a length of barbed wire. 

 Most of the exhibits' lunchboxes appear completely functional, but the most memorable pieces push the concept beyond the simple ability to transport sandwiches. Woody Bowen's acrylic on metal "Goldie Box & the 3 Bears" depicts a terrorized, huge-eyed Goldilocks on the front, with cartoony bear monsters attached to the exterior, and the whole thing covered with scratches. John Fesken's "Rat Salad" presents a ghoulish lunchbox covered with greenish moss. Turn a crank and a grim reaper pops from the top as the lid reveals a haunting meal scene worthy of a horror movie cottage.  

 For "Crunch Time," Russ Vick turns a lunchbox into the wide-jawed face of a monster with rubbery limbs. Perhaps the most elaborate, gizmo-laden item of all is Trish Chenard of Blast-Off Burlesque's "Kaiser Robot of the Food Freedom Fighters 2138," which converts the lunchbox into the chest of a rusted robot constructed largely of kitchenware and found objects.  

 One piece stands out from the painted metal boxes, however. Paul Leroy's "Sack of Anarchy" presents a crumpled, stylized brown bag streaked with red (almost like a melting candle). Leroy's piece hints at the anarchic impulses of adolescence as well as the end of the Golden Age of the lunchbox. The Lunchbox Show satisfies and it's fun to imagine having Richie Rich-like funds to buy out Alcove and carry a different box each week.             13038241 1432117                          Alcove Gallery's latest snacks on lunchbox concept "
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Article

Tuesday April 27, 2010 10:00 am EDT
Cartoon Madness V: The Lunchbox Show satisfies | more...
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  string(2559) "Rarely do two-person shows create a true dialogue between artists. Kiang Gallery owner Marilyn Kiang has curated In Significance featuring Athens artist Annette Gates and Atlanta's Pandra Williams, both known for their work in ceramics. The artists also share an interest in the natural world, both deriving their visual vocabularies from organic forms. Their contributions to In Significance complement one another and create a self-contained world that mirrors the cycles and forces that sustain the outside world.

Gates and Williams have executed a series of ceramic and mixed-media plant and animal studies for In Significance. Microbes, seedpods, and giant roots inspire the artworks' twists, turns and blobs. Porcelain objects dangle from the ceiling and bulge forth like foreign growths from the walls. While each object can stand alone as a static work, placed together, they suggest living, breathing entities.

For "Untitled," Gates groups hand-pinched black-and-white porcelain sculptures resembling pods and bacteria. One hundred and five cast and handcrafted sculptures in pale yellow, rose, green and blue span two walls in the installation "Cross Pollination." The seeds and other natural forms lay sprinkled across the walls as if a gentle wind had dispersed them throughout the gallery.

Gates and Williams collaborated on "Paradox." Gates' small, stemmed greenish pods poke out from the wall and extrude from a shriveled pumpkin-like organ made by Williams. The work's title may refer to the renewal of life through death, as the seedy bits – bearers of the next generation – burst forth from the rotting vegetation.

In "Radicis," Williams hybridizes the natural world and the technological one. The installation combines handmade porcelain sculptures with laminated mulberry paper, 465 LED lights, solar panels and a battery bank. Giant roots seem to creep into the gallery from outside at ceiling height. Lotus-like porcelain forms glow internally, their lights pulsing at varying speeds emulating different human breathing patterns. Although Williams' work often reveals a grotesque side of the natural world, with depictions of nests or hives made of mud and other abject materials, "Radicis" is gently meditative and hypnotic.

Individuality and interdependence simultaneously characterize the natural world. As a successful artistic collaboration, In Significance becomes its own ecosystem in which each artist's work has its own presence and makes its own contribution, but is given greater significance by the other's presence."
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Gates and Williams have executed a series of ceramic and mixed-media plant and animal studies for ''In Significance''. Microbes, seedpods, and giant roots inspire the artworks' twists, turns and blobs. Porcelain objects dangle from the ceiling and bulge forth like foreign growths from the walls. While each object can stand alone as a static work, placed together, they suggest living, breathing entities.

For "Untitled," Gates groups hand-pinched black-and-white porcelain sculptures resembling pods and bacteria. One hundred and five cast and handcrafted sculptures in pale yellow, rose, green and blue span two walls in the installation "Cross Pollination." The seeds and other natural forms lay sprinkled across the walls as if a gentle wind had dispersed them throughout the gallery.

Gates and Williams collaborated on "Paradox." Gates' small, stemmed greenish pods poke out from the wall and extrude from a shriveled pumpkin-like organ made by Williams. The work's title may refer to the renewal of life through death, as the seedy bits – bearers of the next generation – burst forth from the rotting vegetation.

In "Radicis," Williams hybridizes the natural world and the technological one. The installation combines handmade porcelain sculptures with laminated mulberry paper, 465 LED lights, solar panels and a battery bank. Giant roots seem to creep into the gallery from outside at ceiling height. Lotus-like porcelain forms glow internally, their lights pulsing at varying speeds emulating different human breathing patterns. Although Williams' work often reveals a grotesque side of the natural world, with depictions of nests or hives made of mud and other abject materials, "Radicis" is gently meditative and hypnotic.

Individuality and interdependence simultaneously characterize the natural world. As a successful artistic collaboration, ''In Significance'' becomes its own ecosystem in which each artist's work has its own presence and makes its own contribution, but is given greater significance by the other's presence."
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For "Untitled," Gates groups hand-pinched black-and-white porcelain sculptures resembling pods and bacteria. One hundred and five cast and handcrafted sculptures in pale yellow, rose, green and blue span two walls in the installation "Cross Pollination." The seeds and other natural forms lay sprinkled across the walls as if a gentle wind had dispersed them throughout the gallery.

Gates and Williams collaborated on "Paradox." Gates' small, stemmed greenish pods poke out from the wall and extrude from a shriveled pumpkin-like organ made by Williams. The work's title may refer to the renewal of life through death, as the seedy bits – bearers of the next generation – burst forth from the rotting vegetation.

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Article

Monday April 19, 2010 05:00 pm EDT
Artists collaborative Kiang Gallery show is a natural wonder | more...
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Nostalgia permeates Out of the Shadows: Photographs by David Johnson 1946-1963, not for a simpler time, but for a neighborhood and a way of life that ceased to exist in the mid-1960s as hippies took over what had been a cohesive African-American community. The exhibition's centerpiece is the 1956 print titled "Gettin' Down." An African-American couple dances together, their bodies open to the camera. Sporting a cute hat, the woman tilts her head to the music. Her date moves with her, also responding to music we can't hear, but can sense from their bodies' angles and they way they curve toward one another.

As a photographer, Johnson is a master of the zone system developed by Adams and White. The zone system allows the photographer to produce black-and-white photographs with brilliant whites and dark blacks without sacrificing the definition of the tones in between. Johnson executes the technique with finesse, as exemplified by the 1963 photo "3rd Baptist Church Youth Choir," a small print of a troupe of African-American girls clad in white shirts and black skirts, their beautiful faces turned upward, mouths open in song. Johnson shot the image from a low angle, probably kneeling, as if to emphasize the music rising from the singers' lips. As a result, we experience the work from an audience's perspective.

"My Brother Emanuel at 19 years old in San Francisco," from 1947, is one of the exhibition's larger prints and one of Johnson's most compelling compositions. The headshot shows his brother's shoulders and chest against the texture of a tree's bark, lips full, eyes cast down. The portrait captures both a young man lost in a moment of thought and a brother's empathy. "Johnny at Ansel Adam's House" (1946), is another portrait, smaller in scale, of a young African-American man leaning on a metal fence. Johnny, Johnson's fellow student, carries with him a certain cockiness and appears on the verge of asking some provocative question.

Out of the Shadows contains archival images from the beginning of the Civil Rights era in San Francisco: photos of Langston Hughes, Thurgood Marshall and Paul Robeson. As important as these images are as historical documents and records of the artist's presence at significant moments, Johnson's elegance and power as a photographer come across most clearly in the more personal images of his friends and family: the streets he walked, the clubs he frequented and the music that moved him. He allows us to see this vibrant world, now only a memory, through his lens."
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Nostalgia permeates ''Out of the Shadows: Photographs by David Johnson 1946-1963'', not for a simpler time, but for a neighborhood and a way of life that ceased to exist in the mid-1960s as hippies took over what had been a cohesive African-American community. The exhibition's centerpiece is the 1956 print titled "Gettin' Down." An African-American couple dances together, their bodies open to the camera. Sporting a cute hat, the woman tilts her head to the music. Her date moves with her, also responding to music we can't hear, but can sense from their bodies' angles and they way they curve toward one another.

As a photographer, Johnson is a master of the zone system developed by Adams and White. The zone system allows the photographer to produce black-and-white photographs with brilliant whites and dark blacks without sacrificing the definition of the tones in between. Johnson executes the technique with finesse, as exemplified by the 1963 photo "3rd Baptist Church Youth Choir," a small print of a troupe of African-American girls clad in white shirts and black skirts, their beautiful faces turned upward, mouths open in song. Johnson shot the image from a low angle, probably kneeling, as if to emphasize the music rising from the singers' lips. As a result, we experience the work from an audience's perspective.

"My Brother Emanuel at 19 years old in San Francisco," from 1947, is one of the exhibition's larger prints and one of Johnson's most compelling compositions. The headshot shows his brother's shoulders and chest against the texture of a tree's bark, lips full, eyes cast down. The portrait captures both a young man lost in a moment of thought and a brother's empathy. "Johnny at Ansel Adam's House" (1946), is another portrait, smaller in scale, of a young African-American man leaning on a metal fence. Johnny, Johnson's fellow student, carries with him a certain cockiness and appears on the verge of asking some provocative question.

''Out of the Shadows'' contains archival images from the beginning of the Civil Rights era in San Francisco: photos of Langston Hughes, Thurgood Marshall and Paul Robeson. As important as these images are as historical documents and records of the artist's presence at significant moments, Johnson's elegance and power as a photographer come across most clearly in the more personal images of his friends and family: the streets he walked, the clubs he frequented and the music that moved him. He allows us to see this vibrant world, now only a memory, through his lens."
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Article

Monday April 12, 2010 04:00 pm EDT
Retrospective of photographer's work remembers life before hippies in San Francisco's Fillmore district | more...
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A text-based relief by Duane Georges hangs opposite the entry door. In it, the word "candor" is broken apart by individual letters. Each character becomes a separate piece of glowing sculpture. Georges employs various fonts, materials and methods of illumination, including perforated mesh, wire mesh, marbles, straws, Plexiglas, LEDs and halogen lights. The artist encourages an examination of typography, which we generally take for granted; he draws attention to the materiality of words and how meaning is contained in both the word itself and the way in which it's presented.

Obscura's artists represent a broad range of ages and experience. Veteran artist Larry Jens Anderson's video installation, "Vanitas Discussion Voice A and B," contrasts instinctual behavior with human rationality and repression. A dialogue of collaged video images plays on two tiny monitors framed with reflective glass. The work's small scale creates a certain intimacy, and the glass implicates the viewer in the conversation.

Newcomer C. W. Anderson debuts with "Ape Iron," a work comprised of heavily Photoshopped images of smoke mounted to the front of analog television sets. The snow patterns of empty channels light the TVs and offer a crackling soundtrack of white noise. Although photographs, the images of smoke resemble elegant calligraphic lines, making them seem more like drawings. While Anderson's installation is reminiscent of both John Cage's smoke drawings and Nam June Paik's stacked television sculptures, his use of the television sets as supports for the images is inventive. Anderson flattens, inverts, and repeats the images into Rorschach-like patterns that could be butterflies, animals or sci-fi Transformers.

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Obscura shines a light on invention, risk, humor and pathos, and in doing so, turns out to be a place of enlightenment."
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A text-based relief by Duane Georges hangs opposite the entry door. In it, the word "candor" is broken apart by individual letters. Each character becomes a separate piece of glowing sculpture. Georges employs various fonts, materials and methods of illumination, including perforated mesh, wire mesh, marbles, straws, Plexiglas, LEDs and halogen lights. The artist encourages an examination of typography, which we generally take for granted; he draws attention to the materiality of words and how meaning is contained in both the word itself and the way in which it's presented.

Obscura's artists represent a broad range of ages and experience. Veteran artist Larry Jens Anderson's video installation, "Vanitas Discussion Voice A and B," contrasts instinctual behavior with human rationality and repression. A dialogue of collaged video images plays on two tiny monitors framed with reflective glass. The work's small scale creates a certain intimacy, and the glass implicates the viewer in the conversation.

Newcomer C. W. Anderson debuts with "Ape Iron," a work comprised of heavily Photoshopped images of smoke mounted to the front of analog television sets. The snow patterns of empty channels light the TVs and offer a crackling soundtrack of white noise. Although photographs, the images of smoke resemble elegant calligraphic lines, making them seem more like drawings. While Anderson's installation is reminiscent of both John Cage's smoke drawings and Nam June Paik's stacked television sculptures, his use of the television sets as supports for the images is inventive. Anderson flattens, inverts, and repeats the images into Rorschach-like patterns that could be butterflies, animals or sci-fi Transformers.

Whereas all the other artists use some form of electric light, Olive Shaner employs fire. In "Shadow Lamp," the flickering light of an oil candle illuminates a clay relief. It's the shadow cast behind that relief, however, that gives the piece the romantic aura of a mythical time. Jane Garver's DaVinci-esque "Flying Machine – New and Improved," a kinetic sculpture that flaps its white wings, is similarly evocative. Like buds on a tree, yellow circles lit with LEDs dot the tips of the wings. The effect is magical: One could imagine flying close to the sun in this strange machine.

Obscura shines a light on invention, risk, humor and pathos, and in doing so, turns out to be a place of enlightenment.             13038092 1431128                          Obscura blacks out Eyedrum "
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Friday April 2, 2010 06:00 pm EDT
New show reverses many of an art exhibition's conventions | more...
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  string(5333) ""What would a memorial for Atlanta's LGBTQ community really be like? What if a memorial wasn't a locatable object? What if a memorial was a discourse or a series of discourses?"

Together as the newly founded artist collective John Q, Joey Orr, Andy Ditzler and Wesley Chenault considered these questions during conversations about a proposed memorial to Atlanta's queer legacy. Their answer: Memory Flash, a series of four public art installations April 3 at key locations in the city's gay history. Among the handful of sponsors funding Memory Flash is Flux Projects, Louis Corrigan's much talked about public art organization that helped fund Le Flash and, more recently, Lauri Stallings' and gloATL's bloom.

Rather than erecting a permanent, concrete object, Memory Flash emphasizes the ephemeral, unsanctioned legacies of Atlanta's queer history. "That way, it actually functions the way memory functions and the way lots of LGTBQ communities have functioned – scattered and in the cracks and where they found opportunity," Orr says.

Memory Flash is an ambitious debut for the nascent collective, but Orr, Ditzler and Chenault bring a wealth of experience to the project. Chenault's archival and curatorial work on Atlanta's queer history at the Atlanta History Center culminated in 2005's Unspoken Past oral history project. In 2008, he published, with Stacy Braukman, the collection of images Gay and Lesbian Atlanta. Much of the source material for Memory Flash was culled from Chenault's interviews and research at the Atlanta History Center.

Ditzler's Film Love series and his efforts to explore queer and avant-garde cinema have made him an invaluable figure in Atlanta's art scene. Orr's been a curatorial presence in Atlanta for more than a decade, from the small, now-defunct ShedSpace to MOCA-GA. Their pooled experience amounts not only to shared disciplines, but a sustained engagement with Atlanta's queer arts communities matched by few other artists.

Memory Flash begins at 532 Wabash Ave. in the Old Fourth Ward, a neighborhood recognized for its rich African-American history, but rarely noted for its role in gay history. Participants will stage a re-enactment of a Sunday afternoon meeting of the Jolly Twelve, a black gay male social club from the early '60s. During get-togethers, the Jolly Twelve dressed in matching blue pants and white shirts and strolled through the neighborhood on their way to parties and bars. In an oral history interview with the Atlanta History Center, Jolly Twelve member Freddy Styles said, "We would go over to the house on Wabash Avenue on Sunday afternoons ... and we would sit on a nice jalousied front porch. ... It was a very nice house with very nice furniture – the nicest surroundings I'd ever been in. What it said to me was that gay people don't have to live diminished, second-class lives."

For its second installation, Memory Flash jumps to Midtown and the former Joy Lounge site to explore Atlanta's drag history. The Midtown gay club hosted drag nights in the late '60s, though a city ordinance declared it illegal for anyone to "impersonate, masquerade, or disguise themselves as being of another sex." In the Atlanta History Center oral history, Billy Jones, whose Joy Lounge stage names included Phyllis Killer and Shirley Temple Jones, said of that period, "Of course we had to hide from the police 'cause we were harassed all the time. ... We'd all run and hide in the furnace room or in the beer cooler or stand up on the toilet in the ladies room."

In Piedmont Park, two softball teams will face off in a re-enactment of the Atlanta Tomboys and the Lorelei Ladies. For decades, the Tomboys and the Ladies brought women together in Atlanta not only for organized athletics, but also friendships and the occasional romance. While the Decatur Women's Sports League plays a few innings in the spirit of the teams, actors will recite oral histories recounting the personal stories of women who once played in their ranks.

The evening concludes at Ansley Square with a screening of Andy Warhol's Lonesome Cowboy. The film, which features five "hot and bothered" men on the open range, would have queer relevance in almost any setting, but is especially significant to Atlanta's Ansley Square. In August 1969, the police broke up a screening of the film at the Ansley Mall Mini-Cinema. Film-goers were photographed while exiting the theater. The Atlanta Journal reported on the raid, quoting officials who plainly acknowledged they were attempting to identify homosexuals. Instead of showing the film on a proper screen (Ansley Mall Mini-Cinema no longer exists), Lonesome Cowboy will be projected onto the current landscape of Ansley Square.

The relevance of the architecturally erased cinema is critical to John Q's members. "It's an ephemeral image disappearing into the scene around it. It references the fact that a cinema used to be there, people used to be there," says Ditzler. Memory Flash is, after all, about the role that memory, rather than a static object, plays in preserving Atlanta's gay history. Says Orr, "There's a particular way Atlanta forgets its history, because it does and it doesn't. It does happen to erase it architecturally a lot, but once you start scratching on the surface there's so much stuff that always falls out.""
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Together as the newly founded artist collective John Q, Joey Orr, Andy Ditzler and Wesley Chenault considered these questions during conversations about a proposed memorial to Atlanta's queer legacy. Their answer: ''Memory Flash'', a series of four public art installations April 3 at key locations in the city's gay history. Among the handful of sponsors funding ''Memory Flash'' is Flux Projects, Louis Corrigan's much talked about public art organization that helped fund ''Le Flash'' and, more recently, Lauri Stallings' and gloATL's ''bloom''.

Rather than erecting a permanent, concrete object, ''Memory Flash'' emphasizes the ephemeral, unsanctioned legacies of Atlanta's queer history. "That way, it actually functions the way memory functions and the way lots of LGTBQ communities have functioned – scattered and in the cracks and where they found opportunity," Orr says.

''Memory Flash'' is an ambitious debut for the nascent collective, but Orr, Ditzler and Chenault bring a wealth of experience to the project. Chenault's archival and curatorial work on Atlanta's queer history at the Atlanta History Center culminated in 2005's ''Unspoken Past'' oral history project. In 2008, he published, with Stacy Braukman, the collection of images ''Gay and Lesbian Atlanta''. Much of the source material for ''Memory Flash'' was culled from Chenault's interviews and research at the Atlanta History Center.

Ditzler's Film Love series and his efforts to explore queer and avant-garde cinema have made him an invaluable figure in Atlanta's art scene. Orr's been a curatorial presence in Atlanta for more than a decade, from the small, now-defunct ShedSpace to MOCA-GA. Their pooled experience amounts not only to shared disciplines, but a sustained engagement with Atlanta's queer arts communities matched by few other artists.

''Memory Flash'' begins at 532 Wabash Ave. in the Old Fourth Ward, a neighborhood recognized for its rich African-American history, but rarely noted for its role in gay history. Participants will stage a re-enactment of a Sunday afternoon meeting of the Jolly Twelve, a black gay male social club from the early '60s. During get-togethers, the Jolly Twelve dressed in matching blue pants and white shirts and strolled through the neighborhood on their way to parties and bars. In an oral history interview with the Atlanta History Center, Jolly Twelve member Freddy Styles said, "We would go over to [the house on Wabash Avenue] on Sunday afternoons ... and we would sit on a nice jalousied front porch. ... It was a very nice house with very nice furniture – the nicest surroundings I'd ever been in. What it said to me was that gay people don't have to live diminished, second-class lives."

For its second installation, ''Memory Flash'' jumps to Midtown and the former Joy Lounge site to explore Atlanta's drag history. The Midtown gay club hosted drag nights in the late '60s, though a city ordinance declared it illegal for anyone to "impersonate, masquerade, or disguise themselves as being of another sex." In the Atlanta History Center oral history, Billy Jones, whose Joy Lounge stage names included Phyllis Killer and Shirley Temple Jones, said of that period, "Of course we had to hide from the police 'cause we were harassed all the time. ... We'd all run and hide in the furnace room or in the beer cooler or stand up on the toilet in the ladies room."

In Piedmont Park, two softball teams will face off in a re-enactment of the Atlanta Tomboys and the Lorelei Ladies. For decades, the Tomboys and the Ladies brought women together in Atlanta not only for organized athletics, but also friendships and the occasional romance. While the Decatur Women's Sports League plays a few innings in the spirit of the teams, actors will recite oral histories recounting the personal stories of women who once played in their ranks.

The evening concludes at Ansley Square with a screening of Andy Warhol's ''Lonesome Cowboy''. The film, which features five "hot and bothered" men on the open range, would have queer relevance in almost any setting, but is especially significant to Atlanta's Ansley Square. In August 1969, the police broke up a screening of the film at the Ansley Mall Mini-Cinema. Film-goers were photographed while exiting the theater. The ''Atlanta Journal'' reported on the raid, quoting officials who plainly acknowledged they were attempting to identify homosexuals. Instead of showing the film on a proper screen (Ansley Mall Mini-Cinema no longer exists), ''Lonesome Cowboy'' will be projected onto the current landscape of Ansley Square.

The relevance of the architecturally erased cinema is critical to John Q's members. "It's an ephemeral image disappearing into the scene around it. It references the fact that a cinema used to be there, people used to be there," says Ditzler. ''Memory Flash'' is, after all, about the role that memory, rather than a static object, plays in preserving Atlanta's gay history. Says Orr, "There's a particular way Atlanta forgets its history, because it does and it doesn't. It does happen to erase it architecturally a lot, but once you start scratching on the surface there's so much stuff that always falls out.""
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Together as the newly founded artist collective John Q, Joey Orr, Andy Ditzler and Wesley Chenault considered these questions during conversations about a proposed memorial to Atlanta's queer legacy. Their answer: Memory Flash, a series of four public art installations April 3 at key locations in the city's gay history. Among the handful of sponsors funding Memory Flash is Flux Projects, Louis Corrigan's much talked about public art organization that helped fund Le Flash and, more recently, Lauri Stallings' and gloATL's bloom.

Rather than erecting a permanent, concrete object, Memory Flash emphasizes the ephemeral, unsanctioned legacies of Atlanta's queer history. "That way, it actually functions the way memory functions and the way lots of LGTBQ communities have functioned – scattered and in the cracks and where they found opportunity," Orr says.

Memory Flash is an ambitious debut for the nascent collective, but Orr, Ditzler and Chenault bring a wealth of experience to the project. Chenault's archival and curatorial work on Atlanta's queer history at the Atlanta History Center culminated in 2005's Unspoken Past oral history project. In 2008, he published, with Stacy Braukman, the collection of images Gay and Lesbian Atlanta. Much of the source material for Memory Flash was culled from Chenault's interviews and research at the Atlanta History Center.

Ditzler's Film Love series and his efforts to explore queer and avant-garde cinema have made him an invaluable figure in Atlanta's art scene. Orr's been a curatorial presence in Atlanta for more than a decade, from the small, now-defunct ShedSpace to MOCA-GA. Their pooled experience amounts not only to shared disciplines, but a sustained engagement with Atlanta's queer arts communities matched by few other artists.

Memory Flash begins at 532 Wabash Ave. in the Old Fourth Ward, a neighborhood recognized for its rich African-American history, but rarely noted for its role in gay history. Participants will stage a re-enactment of a Sunday afternoon meeting of the Jolly Twelve, a black gay male social club from the early '60s. During get-togethers, the Jolly Twelve dressed in matching blue pants and white shirts and strolled through the neighborhood on their way to parties and bars. In an oral history interview with the Atlanta History Center, Jolly Twelve member Freddy Styles said, "We would go over to the house on Wabash Avenue on Sunday afternoons ... and we would sit on a nice jalousied front porch. ... It was a very nice house with very nice furniture – the nicest surroundings I'd ever been in. What it said to me was that gay people don't have to live diminished, second-class lives."

For its second installation, Memory Flash jumps to Midtown and the former Joy Lounge site to explore Atlanta's drag history. The Midtown gay club hosted drag nights in the late '60s, though a city ordinance declared it illegal for anyone to "impersonate, masquerade, or disguise themselves as being of another sex." In the Atlanta History Center oral history, Billy Jones, whose Joy Lounge stage names included Phyllis Killer and Shirley Temple Jones, said of that period, "Of course we had to hide from the police 'cause we were harassed all the time. ... We'd all run and hide in the furnace room or in the beer cooler or stand up on the toilet in the ladies room."

In Piedmont Park, two softball teams will face off in a re-enactment of the Atlanta Tomboys and the Lorelei Ladies. For decades, the Tomboys and the Ladies brought women together in Atlanta not only for organized athletics, but also friendships and the occasional romance. While the Decatur Women's Sports League plays a few innings in the spirit of the teams, actors will recite oral histories recounting the personal stories of women who once played in their ranks.

The evening concludes at Ansley Square with a screening of Andy Warhol's Lonesome Cowboy. The film, which features five "hot and bothered" men on the open range, would have queer relevance in almost any setting, but is especially significant to Atlanta's Ansley Square. In August 1969, the police broke up a screening of the film at the Ansley Mall Mini-Cinema. Film-goers were photographed while exiting the theater. The Atlanta Journal reported on the raid, quoting officials who plainly acknowledged they were attempting to identify homosexuals. Instead of showing the film on a proper screen (Ansley Mall Mini-Cinema no longer exists), Lonesome Cowboy will be projected onto the current landscape of Ansley Square.

The relevance of the architecturally erased cinema is critical to John Q's members. "It's an ephemeral image disappearing into the scene around it. It references the fact that a cinema used to be there, people used to be there," says Ditzler. Memory Flash is, after all, about the role that memory, rather than a static object, plays in preserving Atlanta's gay history. Says Orr, "There's a particular way Atlanta forgets its history, because it does and it doesn't. It does happen to erase it architecturally a lot, but once you start scratching on the surface there's so much stuff that always falls out."             13038073 1431064                          Gay Atlanta remembered "
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Tuesday March 30, 2010 03:00 pm EDT
John Q collective goes public with Memory Flash | more...
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  string(2732) "Clare Rojas' exhibition Through the Woods at the ACA Gallery of SCAD is a delicious conundrum. Five years worth of Rojas' prints, paintings, and drawings deftly relate a series of fables with messages as varied as her influences. The mythology extends to the artist herself: Rojas will close the show Thurs., April 1 at 6 p.m. with a performance by her banjo-picking alter ego, Peggy Honeywell.

Rojas appropriates, mixes and matches everyday images. A mysterious narrative connects three works hung together on one of the gallery's walls. In "Red Hooded Man," a bearded male with slanted eyes and an aquiline nose appears in profile, dressed in a flat red hood. It would seem that Little Red Riding Hood has undergone a kind of sex change. Below him, "Barn with Yellow Sun" reveals the little structure awash in tones of gray and outfitted with patterned doors. The barn sits nestled in a flat field of red grass; a small yellow circle perched in the sky just above its roof. "Maddy" offers a color aquatint etching of a dog-like animal in profile, but it's uncertain if it's the Big Bad Wolf, a predatory fox or a family pet. All three works playfully evoke folk art and fairy tales. The combination feels like being on a rocking horse without knowing precisely which way it's rocking.

Rojas renders many of her works here on substrates of paper, wood or cloth. All are painted in a lovingly flat way with solid colors outlined in black or contained in a geometric shape. Rojas' use of gouache, a distinctly luminous opaque watercolor, lends richness to the works' one-dimensionality. In addition to figurative compositions, the artist conjures inventive botanicals – ingenious simplifications and stylizations of form and geometry.

Through the Woods is rife with portraits – perhaps self-portraits. But like an actress taking on a character with many guises and disguises, Rojas presents a complicated tableau. This is especially true for the female farmer in "Final Sun with Poppies." She's dressed in a mustard-colored tunic, heavy boots on her feet, a bun in her hair. Her right hand floats outstretched, palm down, as if trying to protect the flowers from the glaring sun. There are parallels in color and form between the sun and her dress, suggesting an intimate connection between the woman and nature.

Rojas taps into every kind of people's art – from graffiti to street signs to the hexes on the sides of barns in Pennsylvania Dutch country. Ultimately, Rojas aligns herself with those icons of feminist art who draw on vernacular imagery to examine their own identities and roles as women. It's as if she's Grandma Moses dancing around the barnyard dressed like Frida Kahlo while blowing kisses to Kara Walker."
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  string(2740) "Clare Rojas' exhibition ''Through the Woods'' at the ACA Gallery of SCAD is a delicious conundrum. Five years worth of Rojas' prints, paintings, and drawings deftly relate a series of fables with messages as varied as her influences. The mythology extends to the artist herself: Rojas will close the show Thurs., April 1 at 6 p.m. with a performance by her banjo-picking alter ego, Peggy Honeywell.

Rojas appropriates, mixes and matches everyday images. A mysterious narrative connects three works hung together on one of the gallery's walls. In "Red Hooded Man," a bearded male with slanted eyes and an aquiline nose appears in profile, dressed in a flat red hood. It would seem that Little Red Riding Hood has undergone a kind of sex change. Below him, "Barn with Yellow Sun" reveals the little structure awash in tones of gray and outfitted with patterned doors. The barn sits nestled in a flat field of red grass; a small yellow circle perched in the sky just above its roof. "Maddy" offers a color aquatint etching of a dog-like animal in profile, but it's uncertain if it's the Big Bad Wolf, a predatory fox or a family pet. All three works playfully evoke folk art and fairy tales. The combination feels like being on a rocking horse without knowing precisely which way it's rocking.

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  string(2983) "    Exhibit Through the Woods offers delicious conundrum   2010-03-24T08:00:00+00:00 Role-playing with Clare Rojas   Deanna Sirlin 1306460 2010-03-24T08:00:00+00:00  Clare Rojas' exhibition Through the Woods at the ACA Gallery of SCAD is a delicious conundrum. Five years worth of Rojas' prints, paintings, and drawings deftly relate a series of fables with messages as varied as her influences. The mythology extends to the artist herself: Rojas will close the show Thurs., April 1 at 6 p.m. with a performance by her banjo-picking alter ego, Peggy Honeywell.

Rojas appropriates, mixes and matches everyday images. A mysterious narrative connects three works hung together on one of the gallery's walls. In "Red Hooded Man," a bearded male with slanted eyes and an aquiline nose appears in profile, dressed in a flat red hood. It would seem that Little Red Riding Hood has undergone a kind of sex change. Below him, "Barn with Yellow Sun" reveals the little structure awash in tones of gray and outfitted with patterned doors. The barn sits nestled in a flat field of red grass; a small yellow circle perched in the sky just above its roof. "Maddy" offers a color aquatint etching of a dog-like animal in profile, but it's uncertain if it's the Big Bad Wolf, a predatory fox or a family pet. All three works playfully evoke folk art and fairy tales. The combination feels like being on a rocking horse without knowing precisely which way it's rocking.

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Wednesday March 24, 2010 04:00 am EDT
Exhibit Through the Woods offers delicious conundrum | more...
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  string(2110) "Size doesn’t always matter. The most powerful works in light dark near far, Jo Peterson’s exhibition of drawings on view at Sandler Hudson Gallery, are two small squares hung near the gallery’s entrance. The 6-by-6-inch “N.C. #3” and “N.C. #4” mix media, including inkjet print, vine charcoal and acrylic glazes. Bare tree branches dance across the canvases. They run like inky spills on paper and map every nuance of the tree’s limbs. Shadows from nearby trees fall behind, melting and fading into the foggy surface. The works are at once highly representational and abstract.   

The larger mixed-media works “Prairie Creek #1” and “Prairie Creek #2” are equally dramatic. Peterson employs a range of tonalities to create the effect of light filtering through trees. She vividly captures the moment of being alone in a sunlit virgin forest. The artist’s palette of grays imbues her landscapes with richness and balance. That nearly all the drawings are based on photographs is evident in their variations of grayscale and cropping at the edges.  

There are times, however, when it feels as though Peterson is gazing through a camera’s viewfinder rather than observing nature directly. The effect is a postcard-like flatness that dilutes the images’ overall impact. Peterson simplifies and smoothes the physical aspects of her landscapes, making them overly schematic and somewhat decorative. She clearly has the talent to articulate a more complex view of nature, as evidenced by her small works. Her reliance on a photographic approach, however, makes the work too much about pattern. 

  Nature can be brutally destructive one moment, and the next, a place of solace, inspiration and renewal. The use of photographs lends a softness and stillness to Peterson’s drawings that belies nature’s violent side. Because of this one-sided vision, her work sometimes becomes more of a traveler’s record of a vacation than an artist’s revelation about the natural world. But when Peterson engages head-on with nature, her drawings become redemptive, reflective, and dreamlike. "
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The larger mixed-media works “Prairie Creek #1” and “Prairie Creek #2” are equally dramatic. Peterson employs a range of tonalities to create the effect of light filtering through trees. She vividly captures the moment of being alone in a sunlit virgin forest. The artist’s palette of grays imbues her landscapes with richness and balance. That nearly all the drawings are based on photographs is evident in their variations of grayscale and cropping at the edges.  

There are times, however, when it feels as though Peterson is gazing through a camera’s viewfinder rather than observing nature directly. The effect is a postcard-like flatness that dilutes the images’ overall impact. Peterson simplifies and smoothes the physical aspects of her landscapes, making them overly schematic and somewhat decorative. She clearly has the talent to articulate a more complex view of nature, as evidenced by her small works. Her reliance on a photographic approach, however, makes the work too much about pattern. 

  Nature can be brutally destructive one moment, and the next, a place of solace, inspiration and renewal. The use of photographs lends a softness and stillness to Peterson’s drawings that belies nature’s violent side. Because of this one-sided vision, her work sometimes becomes more of a traveler’s record of a vacation than an artist’s revelation about the natural world. But when Peterson engages head-on with nature, her drawings become redemptive, reflective, and dreamlike. "
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The larger mixed-media works “Prairie Creek #1” and “Prairie Creek #2” are equally dramatic. Peterson employs a range of tonalities to create the effect of light filtering through trees. She vividly captures the moment of being alone in a sunlit virgin forest. The artist’s palette of grays imbues her landscapes with richness and balance. That nearly all the drawings are based on photographs is evident in their variations of grayscale and cropping at the edges.  

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  Nature can be brutally destructive one moment, and the next, a place of solace, inspiration and renewal. The use of photographs lends a softness and stillness to Peterson’s drawings that belies nature’s violent side. Because of this one-sided vision, her work sometimes becomes more of a traveler’s record of a vacation than an artist’s revelation about the natural world. But when Peterson engages head-on with nature, her drawings become redemptive, reflective, and dreamlike.              13037975 1430603                          Jo Peterson is a natural beauty "
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Friday March 12, 2010 04:00 am EST
Artist's photographic drawings have reflective, dreamlike qualities | more...
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  string(3141) "Sometimes, art is the family business. Charles Willson Peale and his brother James were respected American artists of the 18th and 19th centuries, as were their sons and daughters. Their children, including Rembrandt, Rubens, Raphaelle, Titian, and Angelica Kauffmann Peale, lived up to the greatness of their family name by continuing the tradition of painting. 

 A similar dynasty of artists has taken over Whitespace Gallery for the show From Beijing to Atlanta: sisters Ling, Bo and Hong Zhang. The Zhang sisters are the children of professors at China’s Luxun Academy of Fine Arts. They’ve all studied in Beijing as well as the U.S. The Zhang sisters’ work, while stylistically diverse, reflects their common experience of moving back and forth between east and west. 

 Outlined forms and soft, flat areas of color characterize Ling’s (the trio’s eldest)  painterly drawings. Her style is reminiscent of R.B. Kitaj, an American artist who sought a pictorial representation of a mystical existence. Like Kitaj, Ling’s work straddles the spiritual and real worlds.  

 Ling mixes watercolor, ink, and pencil or charcoal. The media suit her imagery. A dreamlike pilgrim morphs into a butterfly in “Dream Of Butterfly II - Expedition,” while the drawing’s other Buddhist monks retreat into a traditional Chinese landscape. 

 Ling’s large, four-panel drawing “Culture and Nature” extends scroll-like across the gallery wall. The 2006 work of branches bursting from a student’s desk is based on an installation by her sister Hong. Using the same imagery to different ends demonstrates the sisters’ deep connection. It’s a pity Hong’s original installation isn’t on view at Whitespace. 

 Hong’s charcoal drawings on paper show scalpfuls of long hair detached from their bodies. Her triptych “The Three Graces” (charm, beauty and happiness, according to Greek mythology) depicts three vertical skeins of flowing silky black hair, each on an individual scroll. The exquisitely drawn charcoals render each strand of hair larger than life-size. In Chinese culture, hair symbolizes the life force. Presented here, free of the body, the locks evoke the power of the spirit.  

 Hong’s twin, Bo, mixes not only east and west, but also high and low. In her pristine series of lithographs with phototransfer titled “Treasures,” precious Chinese bowls from either the Ming or Qing dynasties are juxtaposed with 20th-century pipes, drains, and other plumbing fixtures. The resulting hybrids are delightfully unnerving — an unexpected dialogue between mundane modern necessities and rare porcelain treasures from the past.  

 Throughout the history of art, the Three Graces were rarely treated as individuals; usually, they were represented as a trinity of female strength. When viewed together, the Zhang sisters’ work expresses both solidarity and individuality. All address the dichotomies of east and west that define their lives, lending power and clarity to each other’s work through contrast. These three graces of art, Ling, Bo and Hong, are creating new traditions for the family business."
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  string(3145) "Sometimes, art is the family business. Charles Willson Peale and his brother James were respected American artists of the 18th and 19th centuries, as were their sons and daughters. Their children, including Rembrandt, Rubens, Raphaelle, Titian, and Angelica Kauffmann Peale, lived up to the greatness of their family name by continuing the tradition of painting. 

 A similar dynasty of artists has taken over Whitespace Gallery for the show ''From Beijing to Atlanta'': sisters Ling, Bo and Hong Zhang. The Zhang sisters are the children of professors at China’s Luxun Academy of Fine Arts. They’ve all studied in Beijing as well as the U.S. The Zhang sisters’ work, while stylistically diverse, reflects their common experience of moving back and forth between east and west. 

 Outlined forms and soft, flat areas of color characterize Ling’s (the trio’s eldest)  painterly drawings. Her style is reminiscent of R.B. Kitaj, an American artist who sought a pictorial representation of a mystical existence. Like Kitaj, Ling’s work straddles the spiritual and real worlds.  

 Ling mixes watercolor, ink, and pencil or charcoal. The media suit her imagery. A dreamlike pilgrim morphs into a butterfly in “Dream Of Butterfly II - Expedition,” while the drawing’s other Buddhist monks retreat into a traditional Chinese landscape. 

 Ling’s large, four-panel drawing “Culture and Nature” extends scroll-like across the gallery wall. The 2006 work of branches bursting from a student’s desk is based on an installation by her sister Hong. Using the same imagery to different ends demonstrates the sisters’ deep connection. It’s a pity Hong’s original installation isn’t on view at Whitespace. 

 Hong’s charcoal drawings on paper show scalpfuls of long hair detached from their bodies. Her triptych “The Three Graces” (charm, beauty and happiness, according to Greek mythology) depicts three vertical skeins of flowing silky black hair, each on an individual scroll. The exquisitely drawn charcoals render each strand of hair larger than life-size. In Chinese culture, hair symbolizes the life force. Presented here, free of the body, the locks evoke the power of the spirit.  

 Hong’s twin, Bo, mixes not only east and west, but also high and low. In her pristine series of lithographs with phototransfer titled “Treasures,” precious Chinese bowls from either the Ming or Qing dynasties are juxtaposed with 20th-century pipes, drains, and other plumbing fixtures. The resulting hybrids are delightfully unnerving — an unexpected dialogue between mundane modern necessities and rare porcelain treasures from the past.  

 Throughout the history of art, the Three Graces were rarely treated as individuals; usually, they were represented as a trinity of female strength. When viewed together, the Zhang sisters’ work expresses both solidarity and individuality. All address the dichotomies of east and west that define their lives, lending power and clarity to each other’s work through contrast. These three graces of art, Ling, Bo and Hong, are creating new traditions for the family business."
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  string(3421) "    Ling, Bo and Hong Zhang work shows solidarity and individuality   2010-03-08T09:00:00+00:00 Three sisters grace Whitespace Gallery   Deanna Sirlin 1306460 2010-03-08T09:00:00+00:00  Sometimes, art is the family business. Charles Willson Peale and his brother James were respected American artists of the 18th and 19th centuries, as were their sons and daughters. Their children, including Rembrandt, Rubens, Raphaelle, Titian, and Angelica Kauffmann Peale, lived up to the greatness of their family name by continuing the tradition of painting. 

 A similar dynasty of artists has taken over Whitespace Gallery for the show From Beijing to Atlanta: sisters Ling, Bo and Hong Zhang. The Zhang sisters are the children of professors at China’s Luxun Academy of Fine Arts. They’ve all studied in Beijing as well as the U.S. The Zhang sisters’ work, while stylistically diverse, reflects their common experience of moving back and forth between east and west. 

 Outlined forms and soft, flat areas of color characterize Ling’s (the trio’s eldest)  painterly drawings. Her style is reminiscent of R.B. Kitaj, an American artist who sought a pictorial representation of a mystical existence. Like Kitaj, Ling’s work straddles the spiritual and real worlds.  

 Ling mixes watercolor, ink, and pencil or charcoal. The media suit her imagery. A dreamlike pilgrim morphs into a butterfly in “Dream Of Butterfly II - Expedition,” while the drawing’s other Buddhist monks retreat into a traditional Chinese landscape. 

 Ling’s large, four-panel drawing “Culture and Nature” extends scroll-like across the gallery wall. The 2006 work of branches bursting from a student’s desk is based on an installation by her sister Hong. Using the same imagery to different ends demonstrates the sisters’ deep connection. It’s a pity Hong’s original installation isn’t on view at Whitespace. 

 Hong’s charcoal drawings on paper show scalpfuls of long hair detached from their bodies. Her triptych “The Three Graces” (charm, beauty and happiness, according to Greek mythology) depicts three vertical skeins of flowing silky black hair, each on an individual scroll. The exquisitely drawn charcoals render each strand of hair larger than life-size. In Chinese culture, hair symbolizes the life force. Presented here, free of the body, the locks evoke the power of the spirit.  

 Hong’s twin, Bo, mixes not only east and west, but also high and low. In her pristine series of lithographs with phototransfer titled “Treasures,” precious Chinese bowls from either the Ming or Qing dynasties are juxtaposed with 20th-century pipes, drains, and other plumbing fixtures. The resulting hybrids are delightfully unnerving — an unexpected dialogue between mundane modern necessities and rare porcelain treasures from the past.  

 Throughout the history of art, the Three Graces were rarely treated as individuals; usually, they were represented as a trinity of female strength. When viewed together, the Zhang sisters’ work expresses both solidarity and individuality. All address the dichotomies of east and west that define their lives, lending power and clarity to each other’s work through contrast. These three graces of art, Ling, Bo and Hong, are creating new traditions for the family business.             13037949 1430478                          Three sisters grace Whitespace Gallery "
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Article

Monday March 8, 2010 04:00 am EST
Ling, Bo and Hong Zhang work shows solidarity and individuality | more...
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  string(2755) "Scott Ingram's Solomon Projects exhibition, ...Through Line..., spans nine years of his work, which is hung, salon style, from floor to ceiling on the gallery walls. The geometric precision and balance with which the work is arranged influences the way we perceive and understand it in two important ways. First, the installation as a whole recalls a modernist geometric painting: The gallery walls become a canvas and the arrangement of the framed drawings resembles an abstract composition that calls to mind 20th-century artists such as Piet Mondrian or Theo van Doesburg. Second, Ingram worked for years as a museum installer. His knowledge of how the placement and framing of artwork affect the viewer is evident in the exhibition's setup. ...Through Line... is not only a collection of individual works but also a self-consciously designed environment.

Ingram often appropriates images from architectural postcards and color plates from books or catalogs on Ellsworth Kelly and modernist architecture. In 2000, Ingram began redrawing drawings Kelly made in Paris in the mid '50s. On one level, this strategy resembles that of other appropriationist artists such as Sherrie Levine. In 1980, Levine photographed an entire exhibition catalog of Walker Evans' photographs and showed the reproduced works as her own. (More recently, Levine has painted watercolors based on reproductions of Fernand Léger's paintings.) But whereas Levine's controversial work challenges notions of originality and ownership in art – Evans' estate claimed copyright infringement and confiscated her works to prevent their sale – Ingram's use of a similar technique makes no social statement. Instead, Ingram is communicating his physical engagement with existing images. The act of reproducing the works by hand allows him to assimilate the original artist's vision into his own.

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Ingram often appropriates images from architectural postcards and color plates from books or catalogs on Ellsworth Kelly and modernist architecture. In 2000, Ingram began redrawing drawings Kelly made in Paris in the mid '50s. On one level, this strategy resembles that of other appropriationist artists such as Sherrie Levine. In 1980, Levine photographed an entire exhibition catalog of Walker Evans' photographs and showed the reproduced works as her own. (More recently, Levine has painted watercolors based on reproductions of Fernand Léger's paintings.) But whereas Levine's controversial work challenges notions of originality and ownership in art – Evans' estate claimed copyright infringement and confiscated her works to prevent their sale – Ingram's use of a similar technique makes no social statement. Instead, Ingram is communicating his physical engagement with existing images. The act of reproducing the works by hand allows him to assimilate the original artist's vision into his own.

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Article

Saturday February 27, 2010 11:00 am EST
Ingram learns from the past in Solomon Projects' ...Through Line... | more...