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October 16, 2013, 8:00am

Rainbow Kick – Wendy White, Pick Up a Knock at Andrew Rafacz

It is an image we all know well when we think of soccer. A player frozen in mid-air, as if swinging on an axis, legs outstretched, climbing above the head as the cleat reaches for the ball, seemingly out of reach and incredibly high and far away, until it makes that miraculous contact of an overhead kick. This image is remembered with the echo of a loud roar; it is the image sportscasters lose their voices to, where the crowd hits fever pitch – utterly spectacular and quintessentially European. But more than this, it is heroic and performative, a show of strength and superiority – it is, in a word, how sports culture codifies “male”. What is the opposite of this image? Wendy White’s (NAP #22, #28) exhibition Pick Up a Knock, currently on view at Andrew Rafacz, delivers the reverse (though not necessarily the antithesis) of the rainbow kick – the international soccer phenomena known as “flopping”. This image is almost equally as ubiquitous, though it champions the idea of failure toward success – the melodramatic falls, and frivolous collapses, all with the hopes of tricking the referee to call a foul. Within this idea of failure towards success – what has the potential to fail more than a young white woman taking on a canonized male subject matter, specifically that of a different race and language? White walks a fine line between representation and metaphor, quietly side stepping the urge to ask too many questions through the form of the exhibition itself. – Stephanie Cristello, Chicago Contributor

Wendy White | El Azteca, 2013, Acrylic on canvas, wood, enamel, 101 x 79 in. Installation view. Photo courtesy of ANDREW RAFACZ.

Listed under: Review

October 15, 2013, 8:00am

A CONVERSATION: JAY STUCKEY AT ANAT EBGI

It was hard looking at Stuckey’s paintings in his Highland Park studio and come to terms with the visual noise and muzzled whispers in the work. The paintings are horrible in their rampant tramping of imagery and id, intriguing for the same reasons; washed out and fuzzy details similar to staring at static snow on a television. Word association gets me to the vinyl copy of Television’s album Marquee Moon that hadn’t left the record player since I arrived at Stuckey’s LA apartment. Lyrics come to mind:

I spoke to a man down at the tracks

And I asked him how he don't go mad

He said "Look here junior, don't you be so happy

And for Heaven's sake, don't you be so sad"

Stuckey is the man down at the tracks and it is you/me who is asked to balance ourselves otherwise we will not make it through the abrupt narratives in front of us. The newest works offer a visual reference for the clouded mind. “Clouded” also points to Stuckey’s use of white, used not to obfuscate but rather to steady us the way ones foot must hover over the brakes while driving through dense fog, attention heightened.  In preparation for his solo show PRIMA MATERIA at Anat Ebgi in Culver City, Stuckey and I had a conversation. Arthur Peña, Dallas Contributor

Listed under: Interview

October 14, 2013, 8:00am

White Light: Robert Ryman at Pace Gallery

Navigating a Robert Ryman exhibition is a dynamic pursuit. Activities include: looking at the sides of a painting as keenly as its front; walking past it multiple times to observe how the light hits the surface (is it absorbed? Does it reflect?); determining how it is mounted, and sometimes catching oneself at staring a bit too keenly at the wall around it. Ryman's six-decades-plus investigation into the infinite variations and complexities of that most neutral color — white — demands and inspires this, forever exploring paint's relationship to its support, to the room where it inhabits, and to the light that illuminates it. — Brian Fee, Austin contributor

Installation view. Photo by: Kerry Ryan McFate / Courtesy Pace Gallery. © 2013 Robert Ryman / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Listed under: Review

October 09, 2013, 8:00am

Narrative Mode: Jane Fox Hipple at DODGEgallery

Contemporary abstraction aficionados: inhale a collective breath of joy when experiencing Jane Fox Hipple's (NAP #92) return to DODGEgallery on New York's Lower East Side. Then take out your notebooks. Hipple further contorts and pushes the limits of painting and total composition across a dynamic dialogue fittingly titled Corresponding Selves. — Brian Fee, Austin contributor

Jane Fox Hipple | Corresponding Selves, installation view. Photo by Jason Mandella. Image courtesy of the artist and DODGEgallery, NY.

Listed under: Review

October 08, 2013, 8:00am

Andrew Schoultz at Morgan Lehman Gallery

Drawing from a range of inspirations in his work—including elements as disparate as medieval mapmaking, Persian miniatures and underground comic books—artist Andrew Schoultz’s (NAP #79) pieces present a commentary on the history of warfare, globalization, and environmental concerns. Cleverly making connections to events across history, his work offers viewers considerable food for thought without being overly didactic. An artist based in San Francisco, Schoultz’s roots in graffiti and street art manifest in immersive installations, in which the colors and imagery in each panel spill onto the wall, floors, and benches of the gallery. – Nadiah Fellah, NYC Contributor

Andrew Schoultz: New Work, Installation view. Image courtesy Morgan Lehman Gallery.

Listed under: Review

October 07, 2013, 8:00am

Consistently Unpredictable: Josh Smith at Luhring Augustine

Don't paint Josh Smith into a corner. He's 100% likely to surprise you. Calling him “prolific” is about as obvious as saying Rene Magritte depicted a lot of men in bowler hats. In his latest exhibition at Luhring Augustine, Smith matches his tireless production and humanizing brushwork in two modern stalwarts: beach scenes and the mighty monochrome. — Brian Fee, Austin contributor

Josh Smith | Installation view, Luhring Augustine Chelsea. September 13 – October 19, 2013. Photos by Farzad Owrang. Images courtesy of the artist and Luhring Augustine, New York.

Listed under: Review

October 04, 2013, 8:30am

MFA Annual Competition Deadline

We are currently accepting submissions for what has become our most anticipated publication of the year. The MFA Annual will feature painters that are currently studying to receive a Master of Fine Arts or current year (2013) MFA graduates.

The deadline is November 8th, Midnight (EST)!

Don't wait, Apply Now!

Listed under: Competition

October 03, 2013, 8:00am

The Body Elastic: Erika Keck at envoy enterprises

Over the course of her young career, Erika Keck has been steadily minimizing canvas (or other traditional backing) in her paintings, composing instead with long, sticky-shiny stripes of acrylic paint, draped across stretcher bars or other structures. Keck unleashes her physical process in Limp, her latest foray at envoy enterprises on the Lower East Side.   — Brian Fee, Austin contributor

Erika Keck | Connection, 2013, acrylic paint, linen, wood panel, 35 x 16 inches. Courtesy the artist and envoy enterprises, New York.

Listed under: Review

October 02, 2013, 8:30am

Image Real Estate: Alain Biltereyst at devening projects + editions

Not all paintings that pare down form and color in an indexical manner are immediately about language – though that is often the initial read. The urge to codify work that has the aesthetics of being a signifier to an unnamed symbol is as much a grasp to make meaning from where form lacks, as it does ignore what the potential of unnamed form can represent. In his current exhibition, Notes, at devening projects + editions, Alain Biltereyst displays a series of small paintings that not only question what it means to deny language, but also how purely formal exercises hinge on the spatial, and tactile qualities of an installation, beyond the painting itself. – Stephanie Cristello, Chicago Contributor 

Alain Biltereyst | Notes, installation view at devening projects + editions, September 2013

Listed under: Review

October 01, 2013, 8:00am

A Landscape of Industry: An Interview with Nina Elder

If you’re like me, you probably drive past them all the time and never give a second thought: cell towers, radio antennas, power lines, fracking structures and electrical substations–all part of a larger infrastructure that we rely on to connects us to a variety of systems and grids to sustain life as we know it. Santa Fe-based artist Nina Elder (#96) has been documenting the intersections of the natural and man-made in the American landscape for more than a decade. In her most recent body of work, Power Line, currently on view through October 25th at the Inpost Artspace in Albuquerque, Elder continues her thoughtful examination of our relationship with these architectural oddities through the lens of landscape painting. I recently caught up with Nina to ask her a few questions about her work. – Claude Smith, Albuquerque/Santa Fe Contributor

Nina Elder | Hawthorne Munitions Depot, 2012, acrylic on panel, 48 x 60 inches; image courtesy of the artist

Listed under: Interview

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