Posts Tagged 'Painting'

Matt Bollinger – Studio Visit – September 27th, 2011

Studio Visit: Matt Bollinger
Date: Tuesday, September 27th
Location: Zürcher Studio, Manhattan, NY

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


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


Amanda Lechner – Studio Visit – October 29th, 2011

Studio Visit: Amanda Lechner
Date: Saturday, October 29th, 2011
Location: Brooklyn, NY

In her most recent series of egg-tempera paintings and ink drawings, Amanda Lechner pulls from the history of optics and art to invent speculative narratives.

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

Elizabeth Cooper – Studio Visit – November 3rd, 2010

–Studio Visit–
Date: Wednesday November 3rd, 2010
Location: Queens NY

Yuka Otani


Elizabeth Cooper


Rachel Frank, Ricardo del Pozo



Elizabeth Cooper is the decider. Her abstract oil and enamel canvases incorporate combinations of colors and textures that involve unplanned actions and elements of chance. She achieves a complexity of color and layer through a lengthy process of combining at times incompatible materials, opacities and techniques from manipulated spills to knife and brushwork. Beth contrasts her spills by using shapes, which echo the spill but are intentionally drafted and often embellished by cartoonish highlights or shadows. Within a single painting she combines abstract expressionist and pop painting elements and attitudes. She starts each painting by applying a tinted ground that will remain the background color throughout the execution of subsequent painting actions. Beth explained that while each painting starts with an initial notion and color palette it often changes as she reacts to the painting process.

The group discussed which formal attributes and color relationships were most satisfying. In some paintings color palate and gestures denote an associative or narrative notion but do not go as far as to become representational. Participants seemed to respond to the paintings that were chromatically discordant or that connoted a “narrative” strife.

Must abstract paintings present or refer to content or context, or do they inherently contain within their content and history of abstract as a context? As in many discussions on abstract paintings participants debated whether content and contextual issues seem present in this work and the importance of content issues in abstract painting in general. In some instances the shapes and sizes of Beth’s paintings move toward an associative context. In her “scroll” series painted on long narrow canvases at once evoke a vertical human scale and the long format of traditional ‘Chinese’ scroll paintings. The large piece with a shimmery silver ground and orange and flesh-toned spills and painted protrusions emerging from each side of the canvas and meeting in the center is meant to evoke Michelangelo’s The Creation of Adam on the Sistine Chapel ceiling in composition and attitude.

Many of Beth’s paintings are untitled. She feels that titling her work can narrow the works apparent meaning. The group also discussed the use of titling to elucidate or over explain a work. While some participants thought that a work should speak for itself, others preferred a title that can open understanding into the work that may be otherwise difficult to some viewers.

Beth has been involved in a continuous practice in New York since her undergraduate days at Cooper Union and her graduate work at Columbia. During this time she has developed a process and material set in her work that morphs and changes incrementally over time. When asked what is next in her work Beth replied that the continuation of her work is her main focus.

-Amanda Lechner


Asian Scroll Painting

Spills and Stains ala Ingrid Calame

MoMA Panel coming up to attend New Perspectives on Abstract Expressionism: A Young Scholars’ Panel



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.

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


Build it Green – Recycled Materials Salvage

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


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

Jacob Goble – Studio Visit – May 25th, 2010

Jacob Goble – Studio Visit – Tuesday May 25th, Brooklyn, NY

Studio Fuse is pleased to announce a group visit and discussion with artist Jacob Goble.

"I have Shoulders", "Beebox (near)"

Rachael Wren

Book- in progress

Meghan Petras, Susie Hwang, "Bertha's Christmas Vision"

Jacob Goble

Jacob Goble is a painter whose current work rotates between painting, sketching, taking source photos and producing a book of geometric drawings. While many of his paintings use a photographic reference as source material, he also works from direct observation, memory and imagination, sometimes employing all the techniques together. In non-adherence with his sources, Jacob edits and fills in detail, building relationships, emphasis, composition and color based on his own preferences and memory of his subject.  Currently, Jacob is  working on a book of transmutative geometric shapes, a project started as a challenge to find incarnations of non-repeating forms. Each page starts with a grid of simple arches or triangles, and each shape on the grid becomes more graphically complex as it is “read” left to right and top to bottom.

One of the challenges Jacob faces in his work is the apparent separation between his drawing practice and his painting. This is an issue for many painters who enjoy different modes of working. Some of Jacob’s recent paintings attempt to bridge this gap, such as an oil painting of an open drawing book and another painting which depicts a triangular shape like those used in his sketch books. While these paintings employ forms similar to those in the drawings, they seem less a meshing of ideas and more like portraits of the sketchbook or symbol.

Jacob’s work often abuts figuration in incongruous ways. His paintings of inanimate objects , alone or in groups, serve more as portraiture than as still life. In his images of people, there is a level of removal from the figuration. As in Bertha’s Christmas Vision, the subjects are not actual people, but a weathered plastic nativity scene. As another example, the painting of the girl in the fur hat seems like both a jab and a nod to Alex Katz in its simplification and stylization.

Participants discussed the stillness of the paintings relating them to fleeting time. Many of Jacob’s paintings seem to be images of objects or groups of objects that exist together only in a finite instance.

Looking at the paintings entitled I Have Shoulders and Bee Box, the group considered Jacob’s decision making in terms of composition and manner and discussed how these aspects may relate to other painters and to minimalist tropes like the grid and stack.

-Amanda Lechner


grid and stack.

Fairfield Porter

Luc Tuymans

Fernand Leger


Alex Katz interview

Joe Gould

Giorgio Morandi

Stephen Mueller

David Macaulay

Bee Box

Dictionary of Symbols

"Pumpkin" 20x22" oil on canvas 2009

Grants & Fellowships Calendar

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