Insomnia on the rocks

fueled by java

Insomnia and coffee at 4am, begets MINDLESS surfing. Quick update in the world of links I have neglected:

Feeling very loyal to my old favorite websites; Esa updates 8.04. While I was there, I ‘d never caught her 11/03 entry on gallery slavedom:

And while on the subject of things that are making me cranky – who ever told every artists in the world that they should come and make art in New York? Sitting at the front desk of a street level gallery in Chelsea will quickly make you realize how receptionists at galleries got so icey in the first place. I clock about 10 inquiries from artists who walk in the door per 4 hour stretch. It is impossible to know what these people are clutching in their portfolios and slide sheets – so better just to send them all packing. Sad but true.

Wondering what has happened to metascene  he usually has a good call or two. There are always his links which I shamelessly modeled my own after.

Eric Doeringer. Busy!

Mat snarks about Martin Kersels, hates the Monet show in Las Vegas and is in the DVD Art City.

George Saunders tips his author hat in the direction of Slate via PRKA.
Slate also runs a little story on museum security in light of the Munch theft.

Franklin’s excellent posting on organization should probably be read by myself a few more times. Yet I also suspiciously know if I am all caught up in that realm that not much else is getting done. There are only so many hours in the day and I always say my piece of the pie chart is getting pretty hacked at. Unfortunately I could post a similar photo of a paper mess. Yeah, add that to the lengthy list of things they should take a stab at teaching in school.

Curiouser and curiouser, absolutearts has their own art weblog portal. Maybe only news to me, but an interesting addition to their site.

Caryn has consolidated and posting frequently on Art.bloggingLA. I gladly take her side in the Dekooning debate (see 8.23). Lots of stuff, always enticing going on in L.A. points us to Iceland Review which we’ve been meaning to search out again. We love Iceland! In their art and design we learn Reykjavík boasts a new contemporary art center called Safn.

Get me off this thing. Night.

Dogs playing poker, what else?

dogs playing poker, what else?

While summer is starting to wind down, we have one week to go before the big local arts festival Bumbershoot this year. There is so much lined up even confirmed crowd avoiders, [like myself] might have to go. The opening night gala is in a week, and free. Exhibits I am looking forward to include Aperture at 50 and Matthew Kangas’ Consumables. The Girlie Fun Show will include one of my favorites, Jenny Hart. Sounds like a good way to kill the dog days.

Bumbershoot Arts Schedule

Yvette has been toiling away and has some beauty of new paintings up!

Hinke  over at Suds and Soda has resumed posting and has some new art up on the walls as well. I don’t see her old work posted, but she has made some interesting progressions with her painting, incorporating a variety of textiles into her work. She always has some fresh postings up in her notebook as well, nice to have a voice from Amsterdam giving a new perspective on the art world. Even though I don’t read Dutch, for instance I very much want to know more about Aaron van Erp’s  paintings, who she posted about on 6.28.

Better than the comfort of a grilled cheese sandwich

Edvard Munch, rhymes with lunch.

I can’t figure out which is more compelling, the fact that an Oslo museum heist has made it into hourly circulation on the CNN/FOX NEWS circuit today, or the fact this very news is mispronounced, mispronounced, mispronounced on the hour every hour.

Those muggy snapshots of the thieves ramming the Munchs into the back of their car add a new layer of meaning to modern lowlife.

It’s raining out today, better than the comfort of a cheese sandwich.

I made a trip over to the Francine Seders Gallery this afternoon for the Big and Small exhibit. I was very much in the mood for some quiet abstract and minimalist paintings and very much enjoyed this show. I love this gallery- you enter a very church like first floor, and then the exhibits either continue or an artist has a small show in the tiny rooms upstairs. I always feel sneaky peaking behind doors to see if art is installed behind them. I guess I’m always satisfied if I soak up some good painting, so I was very appreciative this galley was open today on a Sunday. Francine herself should be applauded for running her gallery in the quiet neighborhood it sits now for 38 years. Always worth a trip up to Phinney Ridge to see what is on the walls.

When I was leaving, I picked up a gallery card announcing one of their painters James Dietz is currently having a show in NYC at the Cedar Tavern Gallery. Wow, I haven’t seen Jim since I lived in Seattle a long,long time ago, but I own two of his drawings which are staring down at me right now [which I’ve faithfully lugged with me through all of my moves]. I asked if he was slated to have a show anytime soon, and yes in a year. It’s always good to know people are still working.

I went to the Cedar Tavern the first summer I lived in the vicinity and I remember being pissed when I found out it wasn’t the original (the original was a few blocks down the street).

Good review today in the S. Times regarding the work up at Greg Kucera right now.

All right,on to Tacoma which as previously stated I went to earlier in the week. Poor Tacoma is being decimated by construction right now, which I think colored my visit a little too much.

But first the good stuff. It was a Wednesday and I lucked into it being a special day (officially titled, Midweek at the Museums, catchy) where I could visit all three of Tacoma’s museums for one price. I went for it. This included The Tacoma Art Museum, The Museum of Glass and the Washington State History Museum.

I stopped at the Tacoma Art Museum first. Their Northwest Biennial: Buildingwise and Andy Goldsworthy are the two shows up. I completely neglected to remember the Biennial was a juried exhibit until about halfway through it when I was scratching my head, it’s a pretty uneven show. I did find some pieces I liked (Robert Jones’ figurative paintings come to immediate mind, not the same Robert Jones I just saw at Francine Seders b/t/w)

Ilya and Emilia Kabokov were the curators of the show, which brings a second collaboration between them and TAM. An amazing show of Contemporary Soviet work which I was mesmerized by came to Tacoma in 1990 (okay, that was a long time ago).

The Andrew Goldsworthy exhibit featured some pretty photographs and a few examples from when he worked in Japan. I am appreciative of his well thought out use of color, and he has a good sense of humor that shines through the sincere overtone of his work. Example A: making a huge snowball in the mountains and driving it 2 hours to the sea and leaving it on some rocks, repeat. I wish there had been more on-site examples of his work, although in reality I don’t know how possible that is.

On to the Museum of Glass. I’ve got to pause here though to mention two points of frustration. I am cheap and thus could not find anything outside of 1 hour parking, prompting a repark between each museum. Annoyance factor [self inflicted]: HIGH. Driving round and round construction detours: SUPER HIGH.
Point two, extraordinarily stupid, but I could not figure out where this MofG was. The last time I was in Tacoma this occurred too and I ended up just getting back on the highway after a visit to TAM. Good thing I had my Midweek at the Museums ticket burning a hole in my pocket.

I finally realized after some coaching from a nice government worker in an office building on the main drag, that I had to go through one building and out-to walk to the “Bridge of Glass. This would then carry me to the museum. Okay, I am retarded. So I walk one block to the Bridge of Glass, which is an additional block long shrine to Dale Chihuly (he is a hometown boy here), this took me down an extended set of stairs when a reflecting pool finally announced my arrival at the MoG. And this is where I should probably shut up. It is a grandiose building showing casing a popular regional art form and it was all a little too a little over the top for me. Especially the Hot Shop which is a grandstand set up for museum goers to watch glass blowers in real time(new age music cued overhead). For the most part, not my cup of tea.

There was however an exhibit there, by Gregory Barsamian which I thought was really cool!! Barsamian makes huge kinetic ” scenario sculptures synchronized with strobe lights that give a fantastic illusion of live animations. The title of the show is Solid Cinema, which is appropriate. Check out his web site, he has small videos featured in flash that give you an idea of what he does. I was really impressed with the originality of his work, and it was pretty wild to recognize that you were actually looking at a incredibly fast twirling objects. Oddly reminiscent of the Brothers Quay.

My last stop was at the Washington State History Museum, which I don’t need to tell you about. I’m a history buff and enjoy the unpretentiousness of an institution like this. Lewis and Clark are big this year, so there was plenty of that. A nice place to calm my brain before heading back to Seattle.

So there you have it, my big summer pitstop in Tacoma.

Going the way of technicolor….

Sorry to be repetitive, I’ve got a bee in my bonnet about this slide issue, which is currently being fanned this morning as I make calls around town inquiring if anyone carries Ektachrome Tungsten film. I think I would be getting a better reception if I asked if their refrigerator was running. I might be throwing in the towel soon on supporting the local troops and go directly to B&H, my old standby, who happens to be online now.

I received a nice email report from Ryan Mulligan over in Richmond, Virginia and runs the site MugsyTheBear. He tells me at the University he attends “they are suggesting dissasembling the Slide Library because professors don’t even know where it is” And so it goes. .

Ryan also suggested checking out the Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players, who of course are from Seattle but who I missed like a ship in the night as I moved back here the same time they took up residency in NYC.

Vroom has a new review up about the Gallery4Culture exhibit. I need to get downtown soon. I’m on semi-vacation this week and went to check out the 3 Tacoma Museums yesterday, more about this tomorrow while I chew on it.


The beauty of slides and Magdalena Abakanowicz

more slides

More on the slide vs. digital debate from this mornings PI pickup from the NYT (link deceased):

As anyone who has taken art history knows, slides are central to the instruction. But assembling 50 or 100 slides for a single class can take hours. What’s more, slides are a waning technology. For example, the Eastman Kodak Co. stopped making slide projectors in June. And while other companies still make projectors, many colleges have begun inching toward digitization.

[Run to your local Salvation Army now to save those archaic objects of days gone by- slide projectors.]

The feature goes on to entail how ARTstor has stepped up to the plate (or digital projector) by creating an online library of digital art. Still lacking in its collection are modern art due to negotiations with folks representing contemporary artists.

This fact though I could not confirm myself. When I went to search their archives a message was fed back to me stating,”Your IP address indicates that you are not coming from an authorized institution that has a subscription arrangement with ARTstor. ” True, I don’t even consider myself an unauthorized institution, so I will have to take their word on it. A world with out upside down slide presentation glitches will be a strange world indeed.

This topic reminds me of one of my most formative art school memories. During my first year as an art student I had the opportunity to travel with a bunch of my fellow students to the Portland Art Museum, to see a Magdalena Abakanowicz retrospective. The exhibit its self was stunning and it’s importance has remained imprinted on my memory.

That day as well, Magdalena was a the museum to lecture about her work. She commanded a strong dignified presence at the front of the room, wearing all black and speaking seriously of her work and her life. This was the first time I had seen a “real” artist and I was awestruck.

Clicking through slide by slide, she recounted her days in Poland and the progression of her work from her large fiber Abakans to the burlap cast installations such as Backs which we had all just seen looming throughout the exhibit.

Suddenly half way through the lecture the entire screen in front of our eyes turned blue and black, the image of melted film being projected in front of us. “What is going on here!??” she yelled out horrified, realizing her slides were suddenly turning to blobs of plastic as they burned in the projector. This moment is frozen in my memory of as hanging there for hours until somebody took command of the situation, as we all sat there dumbfounded. Of course the situation was rectified and the lecture continued, with no further drama. However this slide projector snafu has remained large in my mind, as has the image of her standing at the podium that day watching with alarm as her projected body of work disintegrated before our eyes.

The MAN summer challenge


A summer top ten: this is hard ,like asking what your favorite color is- chartreuse? Red, no blue.

Off the top of my head:

1. Susan Rothenberg– lovely paint- I’ll defend her to the death.

2. Philip Guston– lighting votives to him right now.

3.William Kentridge – beautiful, beautiful drawing.

4. Diebenkorn– in my blood & my brain. the reason I started writing about art.

5. Alice Neel– I wish I was her.

6. Neo Rauch – kick ass

7. Goya – his chapel in Madrid was my religious experience, enough said.

8. Egon Schiele– chills

9 .Ed and Nancy Kienholz – persistent honesty

10.Gustave Klimt – his landscapes kill me.

but how can I leave out DeKoonig, Matisse, Park, Olivera, Velazquez, Appelbroog, Winters,Rembrandt, Thiebaud, the Sausalito Six and….Beckman.

And all the young kids: Manteos, Ritchie, Sillman, Heffernan, Richard-Lukucs, Brown , it could go on and on and with no time to spell check.

[mondo art- this is a funny page I just stumbled upon–makes me feel nostalgic for things I don’t even know about. ]