Posts Tagged 'Artist'

Mayen Alcantara – Studio Visit – November 2nd, 2011

Studio Visit: Mayen Alcantara
Date: Wednesday, November 2nd
Location: Bushwick, NY

Collapsing Agreements in Disputed Territories paper on panel 2011

Image: MidPhenomena: Northern Lights (Arctic Ocean), 2011, paper, 23 X 54 inches

“My work reflects the distortions that occur when a range of pressures force a formalization of long established traditions or informal agreements.  I am drawn to the exaggerations and compromises that are devised to fit non-compatible loose volumes into rigid paradigms that, though generally logical, often generate disorienting results.”
Studio Visit Synopsis:
Mayen AlcantaraInitially to many of the studio visitors, Mayen Alcantara’s new color paper collages read at first as purely abstract compositions. Upon closer inspection, in fact, they refer to landscapes, places in transition that have been transformed through human impact. Mayen is however not engaged in representing direct images of trees, clouds or buildings but is instead interested in nature as phenomena. Mayen refers to all of the collage work currently in her studio as drawings.In two of her drawings, the composition is divided using pieces of paper forming a grid with the upper images reflecting the lower panels. These pieces are translated from source imagery relating to acts of nature: the Aurora Borealis over Michigan and an image taken before the impact of hurricane Irene in Vermont.Two of the other works relate to the effects of human action on the landscape and borrow from satellite images of the compounds of Osama Bin Laden and Muammar Gaddafi. These drawings titled Collapsing Agreements In Disputed Territories differ from the other works in the angular shapes of cut paper used and the type of focal, centralized satellite derived composition used.The aim of the background surfaces, board and sketch book sized paper, which contain the collage images were a topic of contention in the discussion. While some participants found the panel and paper framed the collages  successful, others questioned the necessity of a bounding box in favor of the bare wall as the background surface.

Mayen’s past work has included large-scale installations incorporating wood and paper structures. Present in the studio were several older pieces, geometrically constructed paper relief pieces mounted to the wall. These pieces incorporate different types of paper and mark making absent from the more recent collage drawings and seem to more directly reference the language of topography and maps. Some studio visitors felt that the bas-relief sentiment and construction could be utilized to inform the new collage work.

The group discussed whether a reading of the work beyond an aesthetic, compositional understanding is readily available to the viewer without background information or title. In Mayen’s case, titles help to provide a window into the content of her source materials. What is the necessity of knowing about the source material or background information in order to understand or appreciate a work?

– Amanda Lechner

Links:

Julie Mehretu
Ink Blot
Cabinet: The Paper Sculpture Book and Show
Reflection

Matt Bollinger – Studio Visit – September 27th, 2011

Studio Visit: Matt Bollinger
Date: Tuesday, September 27th
Location: Zürcher Studio, Manhattan, NY
http://www.mattbollinger.com/

http://www.galeriezurcher.com/artists/bollinger/

Matt Bollinger

Image: Locker Room, 2011, collage, 60 x 48 in. (152,5 x 122 cm) - Image courtesy of Matt Bollinger & Zürcher Studio NY

Fence flashe and acrylic on cut and painted paper 58" x 72" 2011

The Party graphite on paper 30" x 22" 2011

Synopsis:

Our visit with Matt Bollinger took place at Zürcher Studio, the gallery where he mounted a solo exhibition about midnight Saturday. There were two sets of media represented in this show: medium to extra-large graphite drawings on paper and a series of works collaged from painted and torn paper.

The discussion started with a description of the largest piece in the show: a graphite drawing on a few huge pieces of paper with accompanying audio housed in an 8-track player and amp constructed out of brown chipboard with real 1970’s vintage head phones. Matt synopsized the audio recording, an interview in which his father describes in detail the events leading up to the near-fatal stabbing that took place the day before his 20th birthday decades ago. Growing up in the same neighborhood where the incident took place, this event became omni-present matter of family lore during Matt’s adolescence. In dark slate-velvet graphite Matt envisioned his father’s account of the event and rendered it as an un-peopled tableau. The details of the elder Bollinger’s descriptions make up the details of the drawing down to the make, model and interiors of the vehicles pictured. Listening to the audio while looking at the drawing seems to create a feedback loop of aural and visual information.

Matt’s collage paintings inhabit an emotional space somewhere between nostalgia and anxiety. Reference to the era of Matt’s adolescence is demarcated through the placement of objects and products specific to the early 1990’s. The group discussed whether these details nail the narrative to a specific generational experience or give surface detail to scenarios familiar to a viewers belonging to any cohort.

This body of work is a slight departure from Matt’s last large body of paintings, which were created through a process of narrative invention and removal constructed from original video source imagery that contains images of young adults. The current work is primarily a product of memory and invention that focuses on the violence and low-level menace inherent in many adolescent experiences. The group discussed the ways in which the making of the work relates to the context of the narrative. The anxious vibrations of color between the ripped, torn and cut paper add a visual weight to the narratives alluded to. The textured flatness and variation between areas of generalization and sensitive detail seem to invite a viewer experience that is like memory from another’s perspective.

– Amanda Lechner

Jacob Goble – Studio Visit – July 26th, 2011

Studio Visit: Jacob Goble
Date: Tuesday, July 26th

Location: Greenpoint, Brooklyn

Jacob Goble Studio Visit 7/26/11

Beach Vacation (image courtesy of Jacob Goble)

The Wheel 2011 (courtesy of Jacob Goble)

Jacob Goble

Since our last studio visit with Jacob Goble over a year ago, he has continued to investigate and hone three primary trajectories:

1) A developing series of abstract linear drawings that are non-repeating permutations of an arch shape.

2) Drawings made from observation in park, museum and domestic settings executed with aesthetically varied and developed mark making.

3) Paintings informed by the drawings, photographs and the book of arches.

While each of these elements of Jacob’s total body of work is produced largely independently from one-another, there is also significant crossover between the three directions. Most commonly the observational drawings act as preliminary work to the paintings. Jacob has also incorporated arches from the books of abstract into his paintings focusing on a particular shape and adding color and brushwork. In some paintings the shape/symbol is used as an overlay on an image of a landscape, in effect, encrypting the landscape language. In other paintings the arch shape is within a wholly abstract canvas, investigations on building an image from formal elements alone.

Jacob described the way he chooses his varied images and content as allowing himself to get attached to an idea or image without committing to putting it in all his work. The group discussed the interplay between nature and artifice in Jacob’s work. There seems to be balance between invention, reference, and removal in each of Jacob’s projects. In his directly observed drawings a level of illusionistic abstraction through mark making is apparent. In some paintings Jacob has combined observed landscape with invented elements and color schemes. In his paintings that are made using observed source material, surface details and foreground/background distinctions pull against the illusion of the image depicted. In the abstract arch books there too seems to be an embrace of a fluid evolution of form.

Perhaps on account of its scale, color palette and graphic presentation, one painting accrued more discussion than the others. The largest canvas in the studio depicted a nearly life size depiction of the Wheel of Fortune wheel positioned as if the viewer was a contestant who has just won a trip to New York. Jacob has edited the image he photographed from his television screen, leaving only the iconic wheel and light colored field below. The group discussed the relatively hard-edged and slick mark making used in this painting and compared it to the small preliminary painting that informed the larger final work. The idea of making a drawing of the wheel was discussed as well as a return to using inks to encourage the mark making exhibited in the observed pencil drawings.

When asked how he would formally exhibit his different modes of working, he answered that he would show the different works together, drawings alongside the paintings.

 

-Amanda Lechner

 

Discussion Links:
Keith Tyson
Charles Birchfield
Decorative Art – Met
Structures: The Arch

Beach Bum, 8x10in, Oil on Canvas, 2011

Page 186, 2011

www.jacobgoble.com

Meghan Gordon – Studio Visit – April 23rd, 2011

Studio Visit – Meghan Gordon

Date: Saturday, April 23rd, 2011

Location: Bronx, NY
Wave Hill –  Sunroom Project Space

Wave Hill Press Release for Gordon’s installation “Frederick Samuel Dellenbaugh would have liked to explore the Palisades”

Meghan Gordon investigates the merits of the cultural institution as an authoritative source for retelling the past. Gordon’s newest project, created during her Winter Workspace Residency, merges marginal fragments of Wave Hill history and reconfigures them through the lens of narrative projection. The crux of Gordon’s Sunroom Project is the artist and explorer Frederick Samuel Dellenbaugh (1853-1935), who, at age 17, joined Major John Wesley Powell’s second expedition through the last uncharted segment of the Colorado River. As the expedition’s artist, Dellenbaugh made a continuous drawing of the river’s left bank and helped prepare the first map of the Grand Canyon. Gordon first learned of the artist/explorer while researching the mural in Wave Hill’s Ecology Building, which has been attributed to Dellenbaugh.*

While naming unknown landforms to be mapped, Dellenbaugh proclaimed that one butte resembled an art gallery, an anecdote that inspired Gordon to create a butte art gallery within the gallery. The interior of this structure recalls the defunct, underground tunnel connecting Wave Hill’s Glyndor House to the Ecology Building. Gordon has installed paper tiles that mimic the Guastavino tiles that once lined the tunnel, suggesting the physical connection between the gallery and the mural, the notion of lost or missing history and the institutional desire to fill in the gaps. The structure also houses a video that partially retells Dellenbaugh’s adventure in which Gordon assumes the role of Edith, a misguided tour guide who uses the Hudson River as an inadequate substitute for the Colorado. On the walls of the Sunroom is Gordon’s recreation of period wallpaper, c. 1865. The painted vignettes are free-hand interpretations of Dellenbaugh’s drawings, which contrast the rigidity of the wallpaper’s pattern highlighting the containment of the wilderness and acknowledges the creation of a mediated view of nature.

Born in New York City, Gordon is a graduate of Rhode Island School of Design. She has been awarded numerous residencies, including Art342 in Fort Collins, CO; the MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, NH; the Seven Below Arts Initiative in Burlington, VT; the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center in Nebraska City, NE; and has twice been a Fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, MA. Gordon is currently a Dieu Donné Workspace Program Artist, a Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Workspace Resident and a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellow. Gordon thanks Richard Maurer for invaluable contributions, as well as the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Materials for the Arts and the New York Foundation for the Arts for their support.

*The unsigned mural was attributed to Dellenbaugh by William Stiles (1912–80), former curator of the Museum of the American Indian, who analyzed the mural and identified its scenes of Native American life. However, descendants of George W. Perkins, who commissioned the mural in 1909, believe that it was painted by Howard McCormick (1875–1943).

Organized by Assistant Curator Gabriel de Guzman, the Sunroom Project Space provides an opportunity for New York’s emerging artists to develop a special project or create a new body of work to exhibit in a solo show.

http://wavehill.org/arts/meghan_gordon_sunroom.html

http://meghangordonstudio.com/

Meghan Gordan, Rachel Frank

Meghan Gordon, Abby Merrick

Exhibition Discussion Synopsis:

The background information for Meghan Gordon’s project at Wave Hill is best stated above.

In her work, Meghan Gordon investigates history, trust, interpretation and presentation. She is drawn to the awkwardness of incorrect theses and failures in history.

The piece at Wave Hill fills their sunroom space. Covering the walls of the room, Meghan has fashioned hand-painted wallpaper featuring renditions of Frederick Samuel Dellenbaugh’s sketches of the Colorado River banks. She has also built a painted structure out of paper, paper pulp and cardboard in the center of the room which visually references one of the buttes recorded in Dellenbaugh’s log; he referred to it as an “art gallery”. Inside the “art gallery” the viewer finds Guastavino tiles made of paper overhead referring to the structural tiles that line a now defunct underground tunnel that leads to the Wave Hill building housing a mural that was attributed* to Dellenbaugh. Also in the butte is a video that documents “Edith” an ardent yet somewhat inept docent and bewigged alter ego of artist Meghan Gordon. Edith incongruently presents the Hudson River as a proxy for the Colorado in this video tour of the Powel expedition. This video serves as a simultaneous mouthpiece and veil for Dellenbaugh’s experience as presented though quotes from text on the Powell exhibition. Edith’s monologue provides a narrative grounding of background information, through artifice of situation and production quality, while effectively obscuring the information and adding moments of deadpan humor.

Meghan discussed her material choice of paper and cardboard as a lesson in impermanence. As her background is in painting, Meghan often approaches her work with a 2D mindset to make 3D pieces. Her investigation of historical subject matter and objects began with a series of paintings of the contents of museum period rooms and other personally notable interiors. This work led her to other researched projects where she replicated paper objects lost to history and created a period room with a borrowed narrative.

Her current project is more of an interpretation of research than a re-assembly of the documented. The group discussed the role of the historian and the role of the artist.  By trying on both roles in this project Meghan has employed the different liberties allotted to the historian and artist respectively. So far in her projects she has been hesitant to use text or provide “the official say” on an event, time or object. She prefers the role of the interpreter or re-interpreter of history rather than the purveyor. Meghan is interested in the different ways in which the public engages the historical framework and the art space. On many levels her work is made as an institutional critique of the authority of information as a given. Her approach is meant to be at once critical of herself as an artist, Dellenbaugh as a recorder, historians, critics and the audience, citing that viewers are responsible for considering information presented to them. In this project however, Meghan does not force factual awareness by misleading the audience, but instead molds the way images and anecdotes are rendered and viewed. The group compared the differences between the performative aspects of this project to the making of objects and environments and the way that the viewer interacts with each aspect.

-Amanda Lechner

Discussion Links:

Coco Fusco and Guillermo Gomez-Peña. Undiscovered Amerindians

Mark Dion : Travels of William Bartram Reconsidered

Andrea Fraser Museum Highlights: A Gallery Talk

Andrea Fraser

Satellite Studio Fuse – Audra Wolowiec at Wassaic Project

Audra Wolowiec is in residence this month at Wassiac Project in Wassaic, NY.

A note from Audra:

Wassaic has been a great experience – having a huge amount of space to work and think removed from the pace of the city. It seems everyone participates to create a sense of community – from the CSA farm onsite to open studios to the local general store. The first image is of the barn that houses more than 10 artist studios, a woodshop, silkscreen studio, food project space, auction ring (and more, the barn is an enormous converted 1875 livestock auction house) and the following images are from my studio – text pieces, concrete casts, and plaster stencils experimenting with objects that convey the physicality of sound through language and voice.

The Wassaic Project is an artist-run sustainable, multidisciplinary arts organization that focuses on community engagement and facilitates artists and participants to exhibit, discuss, and connect with art, each other, our unique site, and the surrounding area.

http://www.wassaicproject.org/

www.audrawolowiec.com

Satellite Studio Fuse – Rachel Frank at Women’s Studio Workshop

Rachel Frank is in residency at Woman’s Studio Workshop focussing on a book endeavor that thematically ties in to her recent performance project.

Note from Rachel:

“So far the Women’s Studio Workshop bookmaking residency has been amazingly productive and I have learned a tremendous amount in the short time I’ve been here so far. I just finished my silkscreen printing and collating of my printed pages for the 57+ edition of books. For the final three weeks I will be hand stitch and tape binding the book signatures and making book cloth covered hardcovers that will each be embossed using the letterpress.

(Pictures include my wonderful studio intern helping me fold each of the signatures before collating, a picture of one of my stitched spines drying in the press, layers of the edition printing, and some images of the silkscreen studio)”

Rebecca Sherman – Studio Visit – September 21st, 2010

Studio Fuse is pleased to present a studio visit with Rebecca Sherman Wednesday, September 21st in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

http://bhekisherman.com

In her current practice, Rebecca Sherman combines traditional materials and drawing techniques with digital manipulation of photographs. Most of her imagery is based in architectural abstraction with a photographic impetus. During her studio visit she presented watercolor drawings, digital drawings printed on translucent vellum and a series of oil paintings on canvas. The imagery in the oil paintings led to her more current drawing and print work. The group examined the color palette, shapes and line quality that both carry-over and differ from aspects in the oil paintings. Some of the drawings in the studio seemed to lend themselves to further investigation and experimentation in scale and materials.

Last year Rebecca was involved in a collaborative project that culminated in a temporary spatial installation comprised of paper and painted elements. The group discussed how she translated her drawing language in a new scale and dimension and how this experiment and other possible presentation methods may affect her continuing practice especially in her digital print and drawing work.

Much of Rebecca’s work is not only inspired by architecture and buildings, but also by music. Many of the painting and drawing titles site specific songs. The group considered whether the visual interpretation of the emotive qualities are discernible to the audience or seem incidental.

During the studio visit the group discussed the challenges of producing a well-crafted artist statement and how disconnected the process can be with the everyday studio practice. Where is the boundary between informative and audacious or between concise and evasive?

Outside of her regular studio practice Rebecca has also produced a line of hand-made and recycled garments and accessories under the moniker Bheki. The methods used to create these pieces involve experimentation and attitude, and while differing considerably from the studio work, these methods could positively influence Rebecca’s future painting and drawing work.

-Amanda Lechner

Discussion Links:

Ingrid Calame

Thomas Demand

Kristin Baker

Jack Goldstein

Synesthesia

Build it Green – Recycled Materials Salvage

Audra Wolowiec – Studio Visit – August 4th, 2010

Studio Fuse is excited to present a studio visit and conversation with artist Audra Wolowiec Wednesday, August 4th, at her studio in Brooklyn.

blog: www.lineforms.blogspot.com
website: www.audrawolowiec.com
Studio AND: www.andindustries.org

Left-Alexis Semter- Right to Left-Nik Pence, Meridith Pingree, Kai Viestra, Susie Huang

Yuka Otani, Rebecca Sherman, Stephanie Lempert, Susie Hwang

Audra Wolowiec

private space in a public time

Synopsis:

Much of Audra Wolowiec’s work is related to sound, often  considerering sound in relation to understanding language. At times  Audra creates silence and absence where there was sound or content. In her audio piece, private space in a public time, Audra recorded Vito Acconci’s text, Public Space in a Private Time, read it aloud, and then edited out the middle of each spoken word. The result is a sound piece of breathy noises separated by short intervals of quiet. In a simlilar vein, for the Sound of Silence Audra has sanded smooth the Simon and Garfunkel single rendering it recording-less.

Often Audra’s work does not implicitly utilize sound but is indexical to it. In some of her sculptures she has created objects from spaces that hold, carry, or buffer sound. She cast the negative space within a megaphone and cast squares of sound absorbing foam in concrete, a material that has been used to reflect sound in military and industrial applications. During her studio visit, Audra also presented works on paper featuring shapes similar to these sculptures. The screened concrete prints seemed to function as supporting material for the sculptures or as quiet notes on their own.

In another project Audra clipped images of lips from a daily newspaper reconfiguring the mouth gestures as small collages. These pieces are meant to be read as musical sound scores as much as they are visual compositions. As scores, the compositions have been performed by singers, musicians and acted out by the artist. During the studio visit they were presented  as visual context only. When collaborating with others Audra likes to give over as much control as possible to her collaborators laving the experiences and outcomes open-ended. The group discussed interpretation when discussing this work; “Where is the work in the instruction or in the interpretation of a given project?”

Audra is moving towards inviting or creating experiences in a space. There is a fine line between what is given by the artist and what is required of the viewer. The group discussed the delayed experience of the slow read of some of Audra’s work and questioned whether her approach involves a building up or paring down when conceiving and creating her projects. She responded that her process involves paring down her ideas and methods; she is aiming for a point that is just enough information to communicate an idea or feeling.

During the studio visit and discussion participants brought up a range of other topics and ideas that are related to communication such as reading micro-expressions, speech analysis, coding, ransom notes and transcription.

-Amanda Lechner

Links:

Donald Judd

Anne Hamilton “face to face” photos

John Cage

Christian Marclay recent Whitney Museum exhibition

specific indexical semiotic sound use in film

How to detect micro expressions

Sound Physics 101

Bio:

Audra Wolowiec’s multidisciplinary artwork mines themes of communication, voice, and ephemeral moments of the everyday. In recreating phenomena and trace effects, she explores the idea of a fading connection to create an elusive but shared experience.

Her work is often collaborative in nature and includes a series of performance scores that have been performed in New York and Los Angeles. She also works under Studio AND, a collaborative project with the artist and designer Niels Cosman. Together they have shown work at Flux Factory, Conflux Festival, and their project Urban Meteorites will be featured in Issue 38: Futures of Threshold Magazine by MIT Press.

Audra received an MFA in Sculpture from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2007 and BFA in Textiles from the University of Michigan in 2002. Her work has been shown at Art in General (New York), Pocket Utopia (Brooklyn), and the Museum of New Art (Detroit).

Artist Residency Roundtable


Artist Residency Roundtable

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

Location: Chelsea, Manahattan

The Artist Residency Roundtable is organized by Audra Wolowiec and Yuka Otani as a part of Studio Fuse’s ongoing mission to foster dialog and to share resources among artists. Guest artists will discuss their personal and professional experiences at various residency programs in New York City and across the country from LMCC, Socrates Sculpture Park, Skowhegan, Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, MacDowell, Yaddo and Djaressi, to name a few. Artists will present their work and an open, roundtable discussion will follow. A comprehensive list of available resources online and in print, for national and international artist residencies, will accompany the discussion.

Participating Artists:

Laura Braciale – www.laurabraciale.com
Rachel Frank – www.rachelfrank.com
James Huang – www.james-huang.com
Stephanie Lempert – www.stephanielempert.com
Christopher Robbins – http://www.christopher-robbins.com
Yuka Otani – www.yukaotani.com

Yuka Otani at Chashama North

Stephanie Lempert at Socrates Sculpture Park

Rachel Frank at Sculpture Space

Laura Braciale at LMCC Studio

Christopher Robbins at Art Farm, Nebraska

James Huang at Yaddo

RESOURCES

Residencies /Artist Opportunities:

* Alliance of Artists Communities – www.artistcommunities.org

* NYFA Source – www.nyfa.org

* Res Artis – www.resartis.org

* Trans Artists – www.transartists.nl

* Re-Title.com – www.re-title.typepad.com/opportunities

* Residency Unlimited – www.residencyunlimited.org/category/opportunites/

* Art Deadline List – www.artdeadlineslist.com

* Nuture Art Calendar – www.nurtureart.org/nurtureart/index.php?ptr=page&pgid=229

* The Arts Council of Lapland (AiR programs in northern areas of Finland, Norway, and Sweden)

www.artslap.fi/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=19&Itemid=21

* AIR_J (AiR programs in Japan) – http://en.air-j.info/search

* Alternative Spaces / Opportunities by Region: “Phonebook” by Green Lantern Press (purchase online for $15)

www.press.thegreenlantern.org/store.html

Other great resources to look at:

* College Art Association (online search + ‘standard guidelines’ resource for cv, etc) – www.collegeart.org

* NYFA Learning (tips for grant writing and project proposals etc.) – www.nyfa.org/level2.asp?id=76&fid=1&sid=781

* Foundation Center (grants for individuals) – www.foundationcenter.org/getstarted/individuals

QUESTIONS / THOUGTS FOR DISCUSSIONS

On application:

-How did you hear about this program?

-Did you propose what you were going to do? How specific was your proposal?

-Did you know anyone? Did you have a prior personal connection with a resident / instructor / board member?

-If you submitted a proposal, was it site-specific to the program?

-What kind of resources do you use to search for residency programs?

-How often do you send applications? How many residency applications have you done so far?

-Did you get into the program in one shot, or did you apply more than once?

Pros and cons:

-What were individual residency programs like? Was it productive?

-Were you content with the accommodation / work space / facilities provided?

-What kind of supports (separate live/work spaces, stipend etc.) did you have from the program?

-Were you required to pay or work?

-How long was the residency? Was it a desirable length for completing your project?

-Did you have a lot of interaction with fellow residents?

Outcome:
-Did the residency culminate in an exhibition?

-Was it difficult to transport your work home from the residency?

-Did you gain opportunities because of this residency? Was the residency professionally helpful?

-Did you start off with a lesser-known program to get into more well-known program?

*  *  *

Christopher Ulivo – Studio Visit – June 30th, 2010

Studio visit – Christopher Ulivo – June 30th, 2010 – Brooklyn

Studio Fuse is happy to present a studio visit with Christopher Ulivo.

A selection From Christopher Ulivo’s Artist Statement:

“Although my paintings are thematically specific they avoid a sense of an internal ‘plot’ of events. The narratives of my paintings are therefore able to remain in some way irresolute. My aspiration is for the image to remain permanently open to possibility.

Each of my paintings tries to be one embodiment of some majestic spirit of adventure. I am a “would-be adventurer” that is, I would be if not for the daring and physical exertion required. Instead, I am a top-notch adventure enthusiast. Having a love of the subject but no first hand knowledge my treatment of adventure and exploration has more empathetic humor and awe rather than drama or conquest.”

Ryan Mrozowski, Dustin Dennis, Rachel Frank, Chris Medina, Alexis Semtner

Synopsis:

In the year since we last visited Chistopher Ulivo’s studio his methods have not drastically changed but have become more finely honed. He has spent the year working almost exclusively in egg tempera, a process, which is centuries old and very labor intensive . This method of painting requires grinding one’s own pigment, preparing specially primed and sanded panels and an almost daily mixing of new paint, vehicle and medium. After exploring other paint mediums, Chris has found this labor of love has allowed him a specificity of color and surface unequalled.

While many aspects of the subject matter explored in Chris’ work remain akin to his previous work, he has changed many of his characters, introducing widely recognizable protagonists from classic monster movies and TV science fiction. Popular icons from decades past like The Mummy, Wrestler Gorgeous George and Elton John have largely replaced the 19th century and contemporary explorer/adventurer/contractor types we have seen in Chris’ prior paintings. In the new paintings characters are brought together from different sources for new narrative interplay. For example one new painting depicts Captain Kirk of Star Trek being electrocuted in a room that also holds an un-risen Frankenstein’s Monster.

To start the conversation, Chris invited the group’s opinions on how they engage with the subject matter in his new group of paintings. Points of view differed among participants as to the most effective way to narratively engage and guide an audience. It was noted that more apparent or more leading titling might be a way to invite further understanding of the paintings. Conversely, it was also mentioned that an over-dependency on titling could eclipse a more open understanding of the work. It was also questioned whether the introduction of recognizable characters invited access or a barrier to the narrative in each painting. A participant in the discussion described the work as “looking insular with a definite narrative yet maintaining a charming balance between camp and nostalgia without becoming cliché or snarky.”

At the end of critique, the group encouraged Christopher to talk more openly about his painting material process, since it is an integral part of his work and elevates his subject matter from boyhood daydreams of monsters and TV icons to a more serious contemporary realm. To further engage with his subject matter it was suggested that Christopher might want to explore writings on film theory and criticism, such as Michel Chion’s books on sound and vision.

Amanda Lechner and Rachel Frank

Discussion Links:

Jockum Nordström

Daniel Bozhkov

The Art of Illumination: The Limbourg Brothers and the Belles Heures of Jean de France

Michel Chion

Slavoj Žižek


Grants & Fellowships Calendar

The calendar is undergoing maintenance and will return shortly.

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