Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Photographs of Paintings (or painterly photographs) Part 3

Alexi Hobbs, Untitled, 2010

Bruce Wrighton, Yonda's Bar, Binghamton, NY, 1986

Lara Shipley, Creatures

Lori Nix, Museum of Art, 2005

Phil Jung, 588-Verbanes on the Desert, 2008

Robert Adams, Longmont, Colorado from What We Bought, 1970-74

 Yola Monakhov, Hotel, Perm, 2004

Yola Monakhov, Sign, 2010

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Water as Desire

Brent Cole and I are working on an exhibition proposal focusing on our mutual interest in water. He left a book in my mailbox today and after perusing through it, three images encapsulate the feelings of desire I often associate with clear (yet often blue) liquid.

Anonymous 1965 photograph taken in Corsica of a child learning how to swim. This contraption reminds me a tiny bit of this.  I would have loved to learn to swim in the Mediterranean and how much fun would it be strapped to this?

 Swimming pool in Saint-Martin, Lesser Antilles, 1986 (no need to elaborate)

I am wishing James Turrell made more audience participatory pieces like this. It was exhibited at Le Confort Moderne Center for Contemporary Art in Poitiers, France in 1991. "It displayed the four elements and invited the visitor to dive in." I'm wondering about fire...

Monday, November 26, 2012

Postcard Collective Fall 2012

One of the best parts about the Postcard Collective is the wide range of items I receive in the mail in addition to forcing myself to create an image 3-4 times a year. The postal clerks have admitted to reading them (thanks for being honest) but I never know if they mean mine or those that are sent to my box.

Here are some of my favorites (in no particular order) by James Luckett, Camilla Oldenkamp, Amelia Morris, Brittany Eaton, Julia Bradshaw, Chris Toalson, Jonell Pulliam, Camden Hardy, Laura Hruska, Cat Lynch, Any-Thuy Nguyen, Cindy Morrissey, Emma Powell, Liu Miao, Daniel Marchand, and Kathleen Ryan. 

There is a new call for entries for Winter 2013 if anyone is interested in submitting!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Robert Adams: The Place We Live, A Retrospective Selection of Photographs

Ever since visiting the Robert Adams retrospective at Yale University over Fall Break, I have been thinking about this post. Why do I love his work so much? The answer boils down to this: he is a perfect combination of writer and photographer and the understated subtleties of his photographs make it all the more powerful. It also doesn't hurt that the majority of his images come from the West and very specific locations that I like to call home.  Seeing this exhibition on the East coast felt very far from the Northwest which introduced feelings of homesickness on several occasions.

I believe the wall text came from his publications because of its familiarity. Here are two contrasting pieces - one of which could describe where I live now and the other where I lived once before.

Here are two favorites from The New West series.

Adams' photographs are very small and the curators successfully incorporated his books throughout the exhibition. Above was a favorite method of this display and this Anselm Kiefer piece sprang to mind upon my initial encounter.

This page from Adams' journal is sparse. I wondered if this was typical.

The big surprise was the objects included in the exhibition: cottonwood bark cut from a tree in Longmont, Colorado, a bird wing carved from boxwood in 2001 (above), and "a book made with hand tools by Adams in 2000 from an old-growth plank brought up from the beach fifteen years earlier" (below).

I was introduced to many books that I hadn't known about before and immediately placed several on interlibrary loan including the hefty three volume catalog (things I wish I owned but are too expensive to justify).

From the exhibition wall text in a room on the top floor in a quiet space away from the crowd below: "As I recorded these scenes, I found myself asking many questions, among them: What of equivalent value have we inherited in exchange for the original forest? Is there a relationship between clearcutting and war, the landscape of one being in some respects like the landscape of the other? Does clearcutting originate in disrespect? Does it teach violence? Does it contribute to nihilism? Why did I never meet parents walking there with their children?"

Adams' art is thought provoking and quiet; his attitudes about the land run close to my heart. This exhibition is one of my favorites of 2012 and happily marks my first visit to Yale University. There were free posters in the lounge in front of the gallery. I hope I wasn't greedy when I chose two: one to be kept untouched in my closet and the other to hang at school.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Ed Ruscha at Gagosian

Here is an exhibition I wish I could see this month!

Ed Ruscha, Gilded, Marbled and Foibled, 2011-2012
Acrylic on canvas
48" x 84"
Image courtesy of Gagosian Gallery

From the press release:

"The large-scale painting Gilded, Marbled and Foibled (2011–12)—the title a wry nod to early Conceptual Art instruction—combines the exquisite detail of an illuminated manuscript with the hallucinatory patterns of marbled paper. Material references to traditional bookmaking are evident in the small-scale Open Book series (2002–05), where blank double pages are weightlessly painted on untreated linen; or the circular vellum paintings with their obtuse, gilded thoughts. The three monumental canvases that form the Old Book cycle present a vanitas in which the ravages of time appear in the painted exactitude of fraying bindings, mold spots, and worm holes."

Cyanotypes on Glass with Brent Cole

Brent and I are figuring out the process of cyanotypes on glass. They will be fired in the glass kiln and will turn brown. This week we deduced etched glass and two coats of horrid gelatin works best. Next attempt a clear water sample!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

More Paper Bags

Jerry McMillan, Untitled, 1978 [image via]

Jerry McMillian, Torn Bag [image via]


Union Paper Bag Manufacturing Company, 1939

The image above comes from a great article on the MoMA blog published two years ago on the history of the lunch bag. I accidentally found it while looking for Song Dong's installation Waste Not and wondered why I hadn't seen it earlier. I particularly love Charles Stilwell's drawings for the patent in 1889.

David Hannon and Fred Bower made this artist's book for the Echo of the Object exhibition. David is assembling 500 copies and 25 were available at the opening. Each book is encased in an embossed paper bag.

The bag turns converts into the Optimist once opened, complete with painted eyes.

The interior depicts David's paintings in a woodcut format with text. From his artist's statement:

"This series of narrative paintings entitled the Optimist Club explores the complex relationship between the seemingly opposite view points of an Optimist and Pessimist....These observation based paintings have a simple compositional structure to allow the viewer to focus on the interaction of the two sides and the various symbolic elements introduced into each still-life. For the main characters a bronze of Abe Lincoln’s head plays the role of the optimist contrasted sharply by a paper bag head with a mysterious identity as the pessimist. Although both characters in the series oppose one another in superficial ideals humor and insight allow for a closer examination of the truths each stands for."

My favorite painting from this series is depicted above in the book and below in the exhibition.

David Hannon, In the Classroom, 2012

I am enamored with the replication of the landscape pinned to the wall and how as a viewer, we too are forced to wear the mask of the miniature Abe Lincoln when standing in front of the artwork.

Fred Bower's diagrams featuring the mini paper bag and Abe Lincoln bust are both ingenious and charming. The back page includes a blank page to list signs that the reader is an Optimist. I'm not sure if a No. 2 pencil should be included or a Sharpie since many of my memories of writing on paper bags are my Mom's depictions of summer vacations drawn on my elementary school lunches with permanent marker.

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Hannah and I are also working on a collaborative self-published book featuring the lunch bags with the goal of finishing it by winter break. Here's to more brown, wrinkled paper in the immediate future.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

New Acquisitions November 2012

Justification: I needed to buy a dish wand replacement sponge. Since I live in a painfully small town, my only source was Amazon. Wondering what else was in my shopping cart, produced a larger, heavier package than I initially anticipated. Clerk Fluid = long overdue acquisition by Clark Flood (AKA Mark Flood), I heard Now We Are Hungry was the best Dave Eggers book on short stories, Jonathan Letham's The Ecstasy of Influence: Nonfictions, etc. has resided on this "to buy" list for a long time, and Umberto Eco's The Infinity of Lists was my impulse purchase (I can't believe I didn't check it out from the library first). Now all I need is some free time to read.

132 Cat Claws & 2 Teeth Are Not Enough

Still collecting...

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Postcard Collective Entry, Fall 2012

This round the theme was "accidental discovery." Fortunately, it wasn't a big departure from a series I am intermittently working on. Thanks to Maura Jasper for letting me borrow the typewriter!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Richard Serra Lives Here

I would not have trespassed for anything considering the photograph below that Robert Frank took of Richard Serra in 2002 loomed before me.  Also, breaking the law is not in the vocabulary of this series. Here's to hoping Serra's property was safe from Sandy.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

"Echo of the Object" Opening - Ball State University

Left to right: Hannah Barnes, David Hannon, Jennifer Halvorson, Jacinda Russell
Photo by Matt Compton

Friday, November 2, 2012


Thanks to Autumn, all the bags are stamped and ready to pass out at the Echo of the Object reception tomorrow afternoon.

Hannah took this photograph (and also designed) our lovely 2" stamp.

A plastic sack full of old lunch bags ready to photograph.

The pile.

The bleed.

We are saving one that will be framed and will travel to the next two locations. Now the hard part - choosing which one that will be.