NYC Whirlwind

The newly curated Museum of Modern Art in New York, which I visited over a week ago lives up to the hype, it is spectacular .

It did my heart good to see so many people engaged in art.
I was particularly touched by this group of school kids piled up in front of Faith Ringgold’s painting.

Faith Ringgold
American People Series, #20: Die
Oil on two panels, 72” x 144”


My personal favorite room at MOMA is Amy Sillman’s ‘Artist Choice: The Shape of Shape‘.
She was allowed access to MOMA’s collection and curated a room full of works that essentially ended up looking like one of her paintings. I’m thinking life size representation of her work “Me & Ugly Mountain” which is essentially a painting of her dragging a bunch of ideas around.
Just being in a room with her color choices come to life was swoon worthy.
The Shape of Shape’ is up through June 7th. I actually had to ask one of MOMA’s staff how to locate it as there so many choices to be had there.

Shape of A Shape

MOMA also has a fantastic fiber exhibit up titled “Taking A Thread For A Walk” exploring the history of modern textiles. Anni Albers is getting her due all over the place this year finally and some of her early sketches and work on on display through May 17.

Taking a Thread for a Walk

That’s all my head had room to think on in my whirlwind one day visit to NYC.

Editorial note from the future – little did I know that literally days later the world would go into lockdown a few weeks later and there would be no more visits to New York or museums in general for a long, long time. 

Always Keep the T-shirts

Things you can get mad at yourself about.
I used to have a Dawn Cerney t-shirt but then it became too small and now it is gone. I bought it at the Henry Art Gallery when they used to have a shop, so now it additionally would have been an souvenir of times gone by. Here’s an interview with Joey Veltkamp from 2009 regarding the body of work this t-shirt was attached to. Dawn is currently in a two-person / two-gallery exhibit at Studio e (in conjunction with Season) right now in a show titled The Perfume Counter, and it is a marvel (seriously, go see it).

Here’s one of her recent pieces below:

I am going to Didi Herron’s art show this Friday and there will be t-shirts there based on her paintings.

I like this concept: always have t-shirts at your art opening. I hope I will make t-shirts when the time comes.

Incidentally I haven’t seen Didi since art school five million years ago but I am really excited to see her recent work. She always had beautiful paint handling and personally she was my favorite colorist (i.e. I liked what she did with all of the colors).

Here are the exhibit details:

More Didi paintings: Self Portrait, 3×3


Animal Farm, oil on canvas, 18×24, 2019


Kim Van Someren exhibit at Bridge Productions

Kim Van Someren exhibit at Bridge Productions.

I laughingly told Sharon my one sentence review of the show is: “this is totally my jam”.

I’m in awe of Kim’s markmaking and how she has created a little world from various shaped and patterned forms, which I detect some humor folded in there. More clues to that nature come from the titles: Hooded Scoper, Reeler, Indexer, Troller. Each piece exudes funny and somewhat lumbering personality; I think that’s the best way I can describe the work. On the technical end of things it has been created by an assortment of printmaking processes including drypoint, collage, sugarlift, aquatint, porchoir.

On the wall directly outside of the gallery is the gorgeous
Gusted Hitch whose transparency and size is covetable.

Gusted Hitch
sugarlift, aquatint on pieced silk tissue
90″ x 96″

Gallery owner/curator/director Sharon Arnold has written a beautiful essay about the exhibit here.

Into Its Own Echo, opens today, Saturday 13 October
(opening reception is 6-9pm).

​Bridge Productions is open Saturdays 12-7pm

Kim’s website is here.

I’m in love with this show. You should go see it.

Karin Mamma Andersson at The Nordic Museum

I’ve had the good fortune of seeing the vast majority of artists whose work I admire in person with one exception.

I’ve been wanting to see the work of Karin Mamma Andersson for a long time.

I decided to stop by the new Nordic Museum as I had an appointment in Ballard and realized the museum stays open late on Thursdays (until 8pm).

The current temporary exhibit is Northern Exposure: Contemporary Nordic Arts Revealed.

Their website promises “Olafur Eliasson, Bjarne Melgaard, Jesper Just, Kim Simonsson, and Cajsa Von Zeipel” which I was curious to see. An interesting assortment of current Scandinavian artists. 

Unbeknownst to me though upon turning the corner of the first exhibit room there she was, a pleasant surprise.

Karin Mamma Andersson, Behind the Curtain, 2014

A tiny work, but very much hers. I am not sure if I let out an audible gasp in the gallery as I was so awed to see it.

Behind the Curtain detail

You might ask what is it about her work I like so much? What draws me in?

I get a very specific sense of place from her pieces, a setting I tend to want to be in. They feel like they are coming from a very interior, contemplative point of view. I appreciate she can mine something out of everyday domestic activities that gives you pause. Here are a few of my favorites:

Leftovers, 2006


Corridor, 2007


Flunkey, 2010

Side note – If I was feeling particularly stealth this year, I would fly to Cincinnati this fall as Mamma Andersson has a new exhibit of paintings there in their Contemporary Arts Center in a show titled Memory Banks (October 05, 2018 through February 10, 2019).

Alas, the world has other plans for me.


I hadn’t been to the new Nordic building yet (it just opened in May) which turns out is gorgeous.

FYI – The temporary contemporary exhibit is up through September 16, which means tomorrow is your last chance (the museum is open 10a-5p on Sundays). 

Olafur Eliasson, The Island Series, 1997


Northern Exposure: Contemporary Nordic Arts Revealed installation view


Poul Gernes, Denmark, 1965


Karin Mamma Andersson is a Stockholm based artist, married to painter Jockum Nordström. You can see more of her work at David Zwirner, New York.

Jockum Nordström and Karin Mamma Andersson

Seattle Art Fair 2018

All art fairs are overwhelming, this one is no exception (Seattle Art Fair).

1 Room across the expansive Century Link parking lot gets my vote for the best stop of the evening.


Seattle Art Fair runs August 2 – 5 at Century Link Field.
Friday, August 3,11:00am – 8:00pm
Saturday, August 4,11:00am – 7:00pm
Sunday, August 5,11:00am – 6:00pm

And 1 Room across the way (255 S. King Street Seattle, WA 98134)
Friday, August 3: 12:00 – 9:00 PM
Saturday, August 4: 12:00 – 8:00 PM
Sunday, August 5: 12:00 – 7:00 PM

Lake and Diebenkorn Again

I’m backlogged on my thoughts from my recent Portland trip but through no small irony, the two artists I went to Portland to see a week ago are found together again in at Bellingham’s Whatcom Museum.

When I found out there was another Diebenkorn show in the vicinity I made the two hour trek north as soon as I could .

The Whatcom Museum is a fairly tiny but pleasant museum in the very pleasant (I would even say tranquil) town of Bellingham, Washington.

Their Diebenkorn offering is: THE INTIMATE DIEBENKORN: WORKS ON PAPER, 1949-1992 a small collection of Richard’s Diebenkorn drawings spanning 40 years of his career. Sometimes it is the small works, the not so precious experiments that can give you insight into someone’s head over the larger and more seriously executed paintings. One of my favorite pieces in the show was made with a ball point pen and watercolor.

Contained within the exhibit is a small room you can sit down and watch an 1988 CBS Sunday Morning interview with Diebenkorn as well (here you go if you’re interested). The concept of interviewing an artist, especially a painter these days on television seems so foreign. Diebenkorn stated in the interview that some days he will just sit with one of the works for hours doing nothing. Yet then he will feel guilty for wasting time. Such a mild mannered soul, it is a privilege to take a moment to hear his thoughts.

What I wasn’t expecting was to cross the room into their other non-permanent exhibit to find my artist friend Eva Lake on the wall as she is part of the Crow’s Shadow Institute of the Arts at 25 exhibit. This is a survey of over 70 prints from their archive, showcasing the variety of artists who have worked with them through the years. A wonderful variety of print accomplishments are represented here.

Imagine my surprise when I turned a corner and saw this print titled Golden No. 2,  (2011, eight color lithograph).

I had to text her that I had unwittingly stumbled acrossed her work.

Here is Crow’s Shadow Institute’s website. They are based in Pendleton, OR and offer invitational only residencies to artists to create print work.

“Crow’s Shadow Institute of the Arts (CSIA) is a nonprofit organization aimed at providing opportunities for Native Americans through artistic development. With an emphasis on contemporary, fine-art printmaking, we also function as a venue to practice traditional Native American art practices — weaving, bead working and regalia making — of the Plateau region.”

Eva Lake’s print work can be found here on their site.

I also really liked Jim Denomie’s piece below as well.

These are small shows in a small museum but to me the drive was worth seeking out such rewarding content. I also spent the morning looking at Western Washington’s University campus sculpture collection, which I’ll write about soon.


The Intimate Diebenkorn: Works on Paper, 1949-1992

Crow’s Shadow Institute of the Arts at 25

Both shows are on on view through August 19, 2018 at the Whatcom Museum Lightcatcher Building (open Wed-Sun, 12-5p)

Now after all this driving I want to find out why Seattle has not had a recent a Diebenkorn exhibit for me.

Season for Lovely Drawings

Season’s Summer show is all drawings and they are gorgeous.
I’m always about the drawing, so this is a special treat.

I stopped by the opening this this afternoon to see this beautifully curated crop of work.
Bonus points, meeting the very gracious Robyn O’Neil. She kindly signed my Perspectives 150: Robyn O’Neil catalog along with a little drawing.

Robyn, don’t forget to say hi to your Mom for me. Thanks.


Robyn O’Neil at Season – Sunday

Robert Yoder’s Season Gallery has its Summer 2018 Exhibit opening this Sunday called Fiery Rain and Movies, Cooling Sun.

Here’s the clincher, artist Robyn O’Neil is not only in the show, she’ll be visiting Seattle to celebrate her new work.

She of the gorgeously bleak and unsettling drawings who also is hilarious to boot, as can be found by listening to her podcast and following her tweets.

I discovered her back when the Frye Museum had solo exhibit of her work back in 2006.

Here some of her beautiful work:

The Passing (detail), 2007, graphite on paper, 66” x 66”


Diamond Leruso, Accident Victim and Runaway Lionel, 2001, graphite on paper, 8” x 10”


No matter how rich our blood, this massive earth rises above and provides us no wings.
2006, graphite on paper, 
49 ½: x 34 ¾”

I’m a huge fan girl, she’s one of the few languishing over here in my links.


Fiery Rain and Movies, Cooling Sun also features to work of Matthew F. Fisher, Rob Matthews and Sean Pearson.
The opening reception is Sunday July 15th, 2-5p and the work can also be seen by appointment through September 30th.

Season is located at 222 NE Ravenna Blvd., Seattle, WA 98105

Deeper Than the Wall

Again I circle back to that original query I have in mind as an ongoing thesis here. What keeps someone’s hat in the game?

I went down to visit the ever articulate and generous Sharon Arnold today for a one day event at her Bridge Productions.

The three artists share the walls today are Emily Gherard, Sue Danielson and Kim Van Someren.

I’m a huge Emily Gherard fan and figured it would be ridiculous to let traffic or other nonsense as an excuse to keep me away.

Emily Gherard \ Out of Embers, 2017 acrylic, pigment, gum arabic, flash paint on panel 22 x 20 inches

Sue Danielson, both acrylic, ink, paper on panel

Kim Van Someren \ Holler 2018 drypoint, collage 14.5 x 11 inches

The work in the exhibit visually shares a quiet strength. Emily’s work shines as always and it was interesting to see a color piece that practically vibrates off the wall (Untitled (With\In No. 3)). I also have an eye on Sue Danielson’s small paintings which we’ll get more of at Bridge in September. I don’t recall seeing Kim Van Someren previously but Sharon noted I might be surprised if I revisited some of her earlier works from a few years back (which I will do). She has executed an intricate series of drypoint, collage works that have a beautiful presence on the walls.

Sharon has always curatorially stayed true to her loves and I believe it’s the integrity of that work she’s drawn to and compelled to share that is (hopefully) what keeps her going. I can’t help but think of former Seattle gallerist Francine Seders whose vision for her space and loyalty to her artists had a unique and singular presence in the Seattle art world for many years. I’m thankful for people like that.

“Bridge Productions is excited to host Deeper Than the Wall, a one-day exhibition of new works by Sue Danielson, Emily Gherard, & Kim Van Someren. Open Today (Saturday 7 July) 12-7pm.”

Breaking news – AND NOW Saturday July 14th, 12-7pm as well.

Address: 6007 12th Ave S, Seattle, Washington 98108 (Georgetown).

Always good news as well to find ample street parking.

Ken Kelly: Land Ho at studio e

When I ran into Doug Parry a few weeks ago he highly recommended a visit to studio e to see Ken Kelly’s latest show. Kelly is a long surviving/practicing artist in the Seattle art world.

The show and the space did not disappoint. Strictly drawing and painting exhibits seem to be a rare occurrence and for me it’s always a thrill to seek one out. I liked Kelly’s small works the best in this show. Particularly this subdued almost Robert Ryman-esqe pocket size canvas.

studio e is a cheerful building to come across in the Georgetown neighborhood, and I appreciate the work they are championing.

Ken’s show is up through July 14th.

studio e is open every Thursday, Friday & Saturday 1-6pm.

Ken’s instagram is here.

More images from the show below:

Last one here I think is my favorite.

Diebenkorn and Lake in PDX

Richard Diebenkorn, Untitled, 1943, watercolor, graphite, and paper tape on paper, 15 1/4 x 22 in. (38.7 x 55.9 cm). © Richard Diebenkorn Foundation


Time to get mobile. I haven’t been to the Portland Art Museum for a very long time.

Last week the exhibit Richard Diebenkorn: Beginnings, 1942–1955 opened at PAM. It will be criminal if I miss this.

Another reason to go down to PDX is to see Eva Lake’s new work in an exhibit titled Through The Ages. More of her impeccable collage on paper opens at Augen Gallery July 5th.

I exhausted myself in the summer of 2013 driving down to the Bay Area. By the time I got to the DeYoung’s Diebenkorn: The Berkeley Years 1953-1966 exhibit I was very sick, so not too much was said in the aftermath.

Sobering words to myself for that hard solo pilgrimage as I contemplate doing another.




Mitchell Retrospective on horizon

A retrospective of Joan Mitchell’s work is coming to San Francisco (in awhile).

“The Baltimore Museum of Art and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art have revealed plans for a major Joan Mitchell retrospective. Currently slated to open in April 2020 at the BMA, the exhibition will travel to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in September of that year and then make a stop at the Guggenheim Museum in New York in early 2021.”

Looking forward to it.


#Georgetown w/ Sharon

Met up with writing mate Sharon Arnold  (Sharon’s website) last night and proceeded on to Georgetown’s interstitial  and The Alice.

Silent Partners

Today I went to Seattle Art Museum to see the Modernism In the Pacific Northwest. Absolutely go,  more thoughts on that soon.

However as a sidebar I nearly swooned when I walked into a separate exhibit room unexpectedly containing a Edouard Vuillard. Here is SAM’s inventory page of Dining Room, Rue De Naples, Paris (1935).  I’m have been obsessed with Vuillard (second only to Pierre Bonnard  in my brain) as of the painters I return to again and again. You don’t expect to see Vuillard in Seattle. I did a quick swivel of the room but realized there was no Bonnard welcoming me as well. I was content to stand and look at the Vuillard for a bit. 

Loping along, I discovered in another part of the museum a Lisa Yuskavage painting that’s also part of the permanent collection, called Big Blonde in the Weeds . I immediately wished that Big Blonde and Dining Room could be paired together, perhaps left alone in that big long hall way that is currently empty and en route to the Jacob Lawrence gallery. Alas, Yuskavage is relegated to the Pop Art Girl exhibit which I think is being explained as Mechanical Bride (no dedicated exhibit page)  and Dining Room will stay up there with the rest of the French paintings as they are being touted.

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A couple of years ago Yuskavage gave a lecture at the Jewish Museum (during a Vuillard exhibit that I wish I’d seen) about how she has been obsessed with Vuillard forever. Peter Schjeldahl was in attendance and feigned shock and horror that Ms. Yuskavage would be be remotely interested in such stuffy painting.   His lead in sentence is actually a work unto it’s self as he describers her as “the notorious painter of preposterously pulchritudinous young women”. She confirms, “I’ve spent hundreds of hours looking at Vuillard”.

Odd Twins: Lisa Yuskavage and Edouard Vuillard by Peter Schjeldahl (The New Yorker, 6.4.12)

Here is the video of Lisa’s lecture/interview on the topic.

Probably best for those OCD fans of hers but I always find it compelling to see artists talk about their own work, especially when said artist has been put in one box and quietly sits quite well in another place altogether. I think the pairing makes perfect sense, as I am interested in both artists as much  for how they deal with light and color as perhaps as their subject matter.

Schjeldahl writes:

Her interlocutor, the museum’s chief curator, Norman Kleeblatt, flashed slides of somewhat apposite works by Howard Hodgkin, David Park, Alex Katz, Peter Doig, Kai Althoff, and others; he should have added Fairfield Porter, the late superb painter and critic who argued that modern art had taken a wrong turn when it hewed to Cezanne rather than to Vuillard. 

I agree. Finally I should give a small sigh of thanks that SAM’s new website is such a glorious improvement over the one that was there just a while ago.

A World of Paper


[The Fortuny Tent at Pulp Fashion]

Back in the spring of 2011 I coerced my sister into accompanying me to an exhibit at San Francisco’s Legion of Honor called Pulp Fashion. Both of us came to this visit with no expectations and were quite blown away at the exquisite exhibit. Isabelle de Borchgrave is a Belgian artist who works mainly with paper and paint to recreate to scale reproductions of historical costumes. I believe the exhibit at the Legion was the first large scale exhibit of her work in the United States.

Tonight, the Bellevue Arts Museum opens an exhibit called A World of Paper which focuses on  a specific body of work inspired by painter and textile designer Mariano Fortuny. I am very excited to have an opportunity to see the work of this world class artist again.

I have to mention to see this work up close is a bit mind boggling when you realize every bit of it is created from paper. I hope people “go over the bridge” and take the opportunity to visit BAM with their own eyes. I’ll be reporting back on my own visit.

As an aside, for anyone who hasn’t been to the California Palace of The Legion of Honor, it is quite the grandiose pleasure. The location is a bit out of the way, so you feel like you are making a pilgrimage, with a pay out of spending time with the mainly European collection of art. For Hitchcock fans, you might recognize the interior from the famous museum scene in Vertigo.



The Girl With A Earring


I came across Ken Johnson’s brief mention in the NYTimes that Girl With Earring and Entourage will be coming to The Frick. Sure enough Vermeer, Rembrandt, and Hals: Masterpieces of Dutch Painting from the Mauritshuis opens today. I had no idea that Vermeer’s Girl With A Pearl Earring had not been shown in New York City since 1984. She will be in good company since The Frick is privy to three Vermeers in it’s own collection.

I was lucky enough last April to see this show when it was installed at the de Young in San Francisco and it was quite the treat. I was reminded once again that my brief excursions down to the Bay Area have enriched my museum going life far more than I give credit. This year I was lucky to go more than once getting a chance to return to the de Young in July to see their Diebenkorn exhibit, which I am still trying to wrap my mind around.

I would like to point out the de Young and the Frick enlisted two entirely different marketing campaigns for the same exhibit. Much to my disappointment, there will be no winking girls with pearls at the Frick.

Emily Gherard at Francine Seders

emily 4

emily drawing 2

emily oct 5 1

[Emily Gherard’s Drawings 2013: Wherever Green Is Worn, Francine Seders Gallery]

All good things must come to an end.

I am pleased that I pulled my head out of a fog in time to catch the last few exhibits at the Francine Seders Gallery.

When ever I needed to clear my head I would take a trip to her gallery.

The first exhibit space I visited when I decided to start looking at art again was Francine’s.

I will miss her integrity, most notable in her emphasis of presenting thoughtful exhibits and taking local artists seriously. I enjoyed being able to go to a place where I knew I would see a grown-up show.

I also appreciate that she was a stand alone there on Phinney Ridge. We need more art up here in North Seattle.

Jen Graves profile of Seders from 2006 stated “Seders has a reputation for intellectual sincerity, business honesty, professionalism, and devotion to her artists.

Emily Gherard’s exhibit (photos above) in the upstairs rooms of the gallery looks very much at home in Seders fold. A handful of elegant, tonal works on paper.  Downstairs was work by Michael Stafford and Jacob Lawrence, two of the artists that the gallery is most well known for.

The final few exhibits are being mounted as 2013 winds to a close when the gallery will be shuttered. The final opening is on December 8th, for Norman Lundin, Dale Lindman and Diann Knezovich.

PS. I like this interview of Gherard in her studio on the blog Contemplative Process .

Future Beauty

Made it to the last day of Future Beauty .

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If I was still thinking about making clothes I would have elbowed my way up to the garments for further inspection but enjoyed them strictly as a passerby.

I was glad to see the exhibit, but the layout at SAM was hard to follow. I almost missed the room I enjoyed the most with the wallpaper (hiding behind a scrim of fashion shows).
Part of me couldn’t help thinking the video footage of runway shows was unnecessary. The super tall models seemed not quite right with the interesting construction, especially Rei Kawakubo, with the padded elements  falling into that category.

I spent the end of last summer learning to sew. I felt like I was making sculpture, and these clothes, especially afore-mentioned Kawakubo dignified that concept.

I made it to the exhibit the last day before it gets packed off to the Peabody. I would love to see more contemporary shows in Seattle.

Things about Diebenkorn


There are entire places and things I witnessed on this day that I neglected to comment on, became unable follow through on or was unable to think about  in any articulate manner. The Diebenkorn Exhibit, a meditation on the Sausalito Six, The Heath Factory all occurred on this day. I was sick. I was tired from driving and managing and lonely as hell. I know they were important things.  Things I had made a pilgrimage out of. But sometimes you need to wait.

Vogel 50×50 at SAM

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It feels like it was years ago that a friend of mine insisted I see the documentary Herb and Dorothy. I have no idea why I resisted, why it would creep back onto the bottom of the rental queue. This month on a lark I finally settled in for a viewing and was so taken that I actually watched the movie three times in 24 hours. Three times for god’s sake. I felt fortunate enough that SAM still had their Vogel 50×50 exhibit up, and I made a point of visiting this week. First of all, can I just say Richard Tuttle. Spare genius. I have no idea if every state received comparable allotments of Tuttle, but Washington has a nice assortment.

The best thing about the collection when you see parts of it in person is it feels very human scale. It also readily boasts the beauty of drawings and other works on paper, undoubtedly for their affordability. Looking from wall to wall, the exhibit made my heart glad.

I discovered one artist I was unfamiliar with: Danica Phelps. Her watercolor by the way is above sadly reduced to a pile of digital shambles. I loved that piece, which in my mind was a nice little to-do list turned art. Well, now I see her entire body of work is systems based, which intrigues me. I like the paint swatches she puts at the bottom of each piece, like a test strip.


[Danica Phelps: Every Day Life]

I look forward to the upcoming documentary 50×50 with much anticipation.


[Fine Line Media ]


SFMOMA and De Young

I am exhausted. Finally a good night’s sleep and the SF garbage trucks wake me up at 5:04A. I’m fighting off some bullshit cold that I’ve been trying to get since Thursday.

Yesterday we met at SFMOMA. But first I got hopelessly lost for a good half hour after getting off BART. It had already been a long day with the flight. A quick coffee at SFMOMA coffee shop, a wait in line to see The Clock, which was brilliant and entertaining, lunch at that tea place in Yerba Beuna Gardens which was more chi chi and small portioned than we had hoped ( and at lunch time not as relaxing). The weather yesterday was downright perfect. back to SFMOMA to see the Garry Winograd exhibit which was important but honestly we buzzed through it. A cab ride to Golden Gate Park to see The Girl with A Pearl Earring.

The Girl w/ Earring show at the de Young was perfect and strangely not too crowded. It was such a treat to see the Vermeer, Rembrandt, Jan Steen, Frans Hals, a lovely show. We looked at the permanent modern art collection and I opined in front of the DeKoonig how much I wish I was still painting. Cab to San Remo then we hoofed it back downtown to have dinner at a food court in a mall which was actually nice. Then on to BART and I took a cab to City Lights. That and the Italian coffee shop up here in North Beach are my two SF touchstones. It was calming to just browse, listen to earnest 20 something discussions about poetry and just be.

I walked back to the San Remo, dropped my stuff and ventured two blocks to Safeway to get a bottle of wine.

Vivian Maier — Out of the Shadows



I was so pleased last week that I made the effort to see the Vivian Maier exhibit at Photo Center NW. The show contains gelatin silver prints that that can be found in the recently published book Vivian Maier Out of the Shadows. The evening also included a talk by the two authors of the book.

I am hardly the only one who has been so taken by the recent discovery of the 100,000 plus negatives found when her abandoned storage units were auctioned off. What surprised me was learning there are two sets of negatives currently being archived by two separate parties. A very curious circumstance, with dueling projects, dueling web/sites.

The Maier photos that first become known to the public are almost Arbus-like street photos. These are the images that drew me into the story, but I’ve come to like the quiet self portraits that are randomly sprinkled among her contact sheets. The two authors of this book (Richard Cahan and Michael Williams) placed an emphasis on perceiving the work as her private diary.

Maier was an extraordinarily private person and a bit of an odd duck. Cahan and Williams write in Out of the Shadows:

Maier had few friends and was known to be difficult and temperamental. Yet her photography shows an exceptional ability to relate and connect with people. It was a very short connection — a sixtieth of a second — but in that sliver of time Maier and her camera did something remarkable. They seemed to unmask people, to see beyond the surface of their skin. Her ability to get close to her subjects is what makes her pictures so irresistible. She’s not gawking, or judging, or creating caricatures. Her subjects — the men, women, and children who hardly noticed her- were often deep in thought. They seem isolated or perhaps lonely.

As everyone in the audience has pondered, what is it about her work that resonates so much? Ira Glass of This American Life did a recent live segment on just that question. You have to wait until Segment 5, but then Glass delivers a thoughtful valentine to Maier and her photographs. He focuses on the images she took of her nanny charges and includes interviews with a woman who Vivian cared for who had never seen the documentation of her childhood by her caretaker.

A few more snippets for your eyes:

I am so thrilled I was able to see some of her work with my own eyes. It was pure happenstance that I happened to breeze by a mention that the exhibit was occurring.

VIvian Maier: Out of the Shadows at Photo Center NW

Feb.,1st- March 23rd, 2013.

Gallery Hours:  Monday – Thursday 11 am – 10 pm, Friday – Sunday 12 pm – 8 pm



Last week I had the good fortune of going across the waterway to the Kirkland Arts Center to view the exhibit pARTners. The secondary title of the show is Considerations Rather than Constraints,which is the underlying thread. The group show is a collection of work curated by Deborah Paine and showcases work done by artists that are also live in partners/sidekicks. Paine says in the tidy little catalogue that comes with the show that:

Through the decades, literature has painted a somewhat bleak picture of the artist; solitary, angst ridden, self-oppressed and carried along by a muse that seems less than friendly. I’ve come to consider this a myth. In the introduction of Significant Others, a book edited by Whitney Chatwick and Isabelle de Courtivron, the question is posed,”if the dominant belief about art and literature is that they are produced by solitary individuals, but the dominant social structures are concerned with familial, matrimonial, and heterosexual arrangements, how do two creative people escape or not the constraints of this framework and constuct an alternative story?”

And Paine continues, through the work she has chosen for the show to execute examples. Often two pieces are displayed side by side showing inferred influence two people might have over each other’s work. Some pieces are collaborative showing a joint working style, like the glasswork done by Sabrina Knowles and Jenny Pohlman, and the video by Ken Fandell and Patte Loper. Some pieces were possibly done together for the exhibit like the one by Jaq Chartier and Dirk Park. My favorite piece in the exhibit is the collaboration betweenClaire Cowie and Leo Saul Berk– which looks like two Monopoly © piece houses parked facing one another on of Leo Saul Berks strange cartographic work- in separate yet close proximity. Sheila Klein’s billowy work next to Ries Niemi’s embroidered silk pillow offering was also a great combo.
An entertaining aspect of the show is finding out that someone does indeed have an artistic sidekick- perhaps lesser known (both Gaylen Hansen and Gregory Grenon have painting partners).

I never regret the 20-minute drive it takes me out of my way to get to Kirkland, and again KAC has mounted another invigorating show underling work done by local artists. Unfortunately the exhibit ends tomorrow- November 16th. Keep your eye on KAC though- they continually step up to the plate in giving local artists and curators a nice space to show contemporary art.

Photo stream of exhibit.


A note about the sparseness of writing here: 
I have been feeling rebellious about time spent on the computer lately. In two weeks I will be leaving to go to Iceland for a month, and in a bizarre act to reign in all the details that are falling down on me, all I have felt like doing is cooking. I haven’t purposely cooked for years, so this is comical. Lots of soups and cold weather comfort food and time spent over a pot— just stirring. Cooking doesn’t lend its self to multi-tasking outside of additionally just listening to music, so maybe that is what it is all about.
I will be in residency in Northern Iceland in the town of Akureyri which is will soon be boasting a collective 3 hours of daily “twilight”. My sister claims I could be stuck by Seasonal Effective Disorder on day 1 and be unable to get out of bed for the entire month. All I know is this is going to remove me from the hum drum of daily life undoubtedly.

Trippin’ Balls : A Mycological Exploration

Tonight, I’m proud to be part of a new show at the outstanding gallery space in Portland known as V-Gun. The exhibit called Trippin’ Balls : A Mycological Exploration was curated by the illustrious Bruce Conkle and Marne Lucas. Just in time for the fall mushroom hunting season.

The reception is from 5-7pm.


I’m looking forward to seeing the show when I come down later this month.

New Drawing exhibit at Highland CC


After travel all day on Tuesday, a life of airports and shuttles, I touched down in Seattle finally. Very glad to be home!

Yesterday, after finding the drawings I had sent from North Carolina actually were in the vicinity (there is no such thing as overnighting anything from the Post Office there even though the Express Mail posters are hung front and center), I spent the day hanging my work at Highland CC, which is great as it is not often you punch out a new body of work and have the opportunity to exhibit it right away. The show will be up through July 31st.

Tuesday morning, sitting on my friend Harry’s porch before he took me to the airport, we were both trying to wrap our minds around the entity called the South. A friend of ours James who is from Kentucky used to spin the wildest tales about growing up there, I see now he was not using any exaggeration, I’m glad I got four weeks to try to decipher it for myself. In the mean time I came home to a garden fully in bloom and lots of peace and quiet.

Visiting the City of Glass


If I have a crush on Portland, Oregon (and I do), then I have come to the conclusion this past weekend I’m having a full blown romance with my city to the north, Vancouver B.C. Luckily my love will probably never become a worn out thing as the possibility of myself ever living there is pretty much 0% (not being a Canadian citizen). However, is great to know only 120 miles separates me from this beautiful city that boasts unpasteurized cheese, the Canadian demeanor, bars playing Lacrosse on big screen televisions as opposed to Football, and more sushi than I could ever manage to stuff into my mouth. Lovely place and like Portland, it had been more than 15 years since my previous visit.

It was surprising to see Vancouver is a boomtown too, condominiums being raised into the skyline everywhere. Douglas Coupland wrote a homage to his hometown calling it the City of Glass, and rightly so. Silhouettes of erector sets dot the landscape everywhere, putting up new glass cased skyscrapers, the heavy design influence of Hong Kong.

As Marja-Leena reported on her web site, (and as we are experiencing here in Seattle as well) spring blooms seem to be coming up early everywhere, the weather has been so mild. It rained, but people were out in a flurry of activity. I mention the cheese, as it is illegal in the states, and if I had been feeling very defiant I could have purchased Cuban cigars as well. Travel always delineates the differences between holiday and routine, no matter how short the time span it consumes. You can’t help noticing the small details that make up someone else’s life. Yet, you are at the mercy of holiday time, sitting drinking coffee some place and noticing these things instead of doing your laundry- it’s a luxury.

We stayed at the handsome old Sylvia Hotel. I cite this because it put me in the place of a novel I once read by Anita Brookner titled Hotel Du Lac, where a woman sequesters herself in a hotel to escape her life. The Sylvia is right on the beach and most beguilingly had cocktails on its room service menu. A few months of that would probably do any one right. The rooms had some pretty wacky art on the walls that cracked me up:

Speaking of art and being in town less than an entire weekend, I randomly picked a few places to visit: The Helen Pitt Gallery which featured strange taxidermy as art. With this being the third time in the last few months I’ve seen taxidermy being used as a medium I wonder if Natural History Museum’s are being pilfered. I’ve heard Vancouver has quite the vital art scene and knowing the Helen Pitt is a non-profit and artist run gallery I’d be curious how much of a reflection the art work seen there holds to what else is being shown in the city.
We visited the venerable Vancouver Art Gallery as well. Unfortunately they were between exhibits and two whole floors were shut down, but this happens in the museum world. It was a cozy way to spend some time. I had actually been here a long time ago and it was nice to revisit the paintings of Emily Carr, now that I have better appreciation of her work in relation to history. Too short a stay, but glad to finally be reacquainted with the neighbors to the north.

Being Gustav Klimt


I loved Being John Malkovich, although Malkovich himself I find hard to stomach sometimes (obviously the point of BJM).
I truly love Gustav Klimt’s work, although the poster industry has done a pretty good job of ruining him by sanctioning far too many dorm rooms with The Kiss.

But Malkovich as Klimt, I might not be able to suspend reality long enough. At least they are filming in Vienna. I guess I am coming to this party late as I see now the news about a Klimt movie has been hatched since July 07, 2004 (according to SurfWax).
Film synopsis: A portrait of Austrian artist Gustav Klimt (Malkovich) whose lavish, sexual paintings came to symbolize the art nouveau style of the late 19th and early 20th century.

Footnote– Malkovich is also starring in this year in Art School Confidential, coming to you from the Ghostworld team of Daniel Clowes/Terry Zwigoff.
Film synopsis: Convinced that art school will put him on the path to fame, Jerome (Minghella) must come to terms with his anemic talent, as he watches the girl of his dreams fall in love with another student. Then, strangely, he’s arrested as a suspected murderer – only to discover that crime might actually pay.

PS. Pretty funny Metafilter exhange on Klimt including the dorm room reference I was praying for and and a tip off to the book The Painted Kiss (a genre of books I have resisted so far).

Annotated super footnote, I guess I’m on a roll here. ..I saw an amazing exhibit in 1997 in Amsterdam called Wenen 1900: Portret en interieur that literally gave me goose bumps. Two flights down (this was at the Van Gogh Museum) I had been windy winding my way around the huge crowds out to see Van Gogh, as always- hard. Upon entering the top floor though I found this showcase of Vienna Secession artists , forgetting my irritation as I was literally blown away. There were KlimtsSchielesKokoschkas and many of the not so well knowns such as: MollGerstl,Boeckl.
I have the catalogue which is the only reason my memory is serving me so well at the moment; unfortunately it is in Dutch, which in the last 8 years I have failed to learn. The decorative arts in the exhibit were additionally to die for. A wonderful sense of design went into everything from the mustard pot to your door handle. I’m really such a sucker for this whole era.
When I visited the Neue Gallery in NYC for the first time and saw more art from this same period (including an entire room of Schiele drawings) I had almost the same reaction. I’m sure this has been on my mind lately after reading Roberta of artblog’s posting about her recent visit there. It’s quite the gem of a place if you have any interest in German or Austrian modern art. I would link to their website but it appears to have disappeared.