November 04, 2013, 8:36pm
I struggle with patriotism. Growing up, Independence Day was a conflicting sea of perceived warmongering and Bruce Springsteen. Then came 9/11 and the outpouring of patriotic merchandise that compounded my mixed feelings, and that day closed just in time for Thanksgiving and the melancholy surrounding a day dedicated to our pilgrim ancestors who, despite their mostly unfortunate relationship with America’s indigenous peoples, made our existence possible. It’s not easy to fess up to an inherent discomfort with the culture you were born and raised in. In fact, if “these colors don’t run” then my assertion is akin to at least mild treason. The truth is I’ve always wanted to be a patriot, but it has seemed impossible to accomplish this sentiment without acknowledging Honey Baked Ham and denying words like nuclear family. Consequently, I forgot about tall-grass prairies, sod houses and head cheese. I neglected the patchwork quilts, the dandelion greens and the buffalo. I forgot about ol’America. Artist David Ford (NAP #71, #89, #107) refreshed my memory. Earlier this summer, still buzzing on hot dogs and pie from the Fourth, I met Ford in his studio, perched above his snack shop in the Crossroads Arts District of Kansas City. That’s right, in addition to establishing himself as a successful, self-taught artist, Ford has crafted one of the most noteworthy creative hubs in KC with YJs, his eclectic snackerie slinging coffee, American fare, and art conversation on the daily. Indeed, with an intense studio practice, a successful small business, and a well-travelled spirit, Ford may be the epitome of the American dream. – Halcombe Miller, Kansas City Contributor
David Ford | I Love Indians, 2011, Acrylic on Canvas, 36” x 48”
October 31, 2013, 9:29pm
Artist Tracy Stuckey (NAP #106) sets reality and romanticism on a collision course in his paintings of icons, legends, and heroes of the American West. In his recent work, Stuckey assumes the role of storyteller, crafting his tall tales of equal parts humor, theatricality, fiction, and reality. The artist’s “refashioned fables” put a satirical spin on mythic views of this often-romanticized region and stand as commentaries on the West today. - Karen Brooks, Guest Contributor
October 28, 2013, 10:25pm
The subject of Israel and Palestine may seem an unlikely one for the Chinese painter Liu Xiaodong. However, the issue of internal displacement and migration has been a topic within much of Xiaodong’s work, particularly in his 2003 series, Displacement, which drew inspiration from the Three Gorges Dam project in China. The twenty new works shown at Mary Boone gallery in New York take up the artist’s previous interests once again, revolving around the same set of concerns in a different part of the globe. - Nadiah Fellah, NYC Contributor
October 23, 2013, 8:43pm
In Devin Troy Strother's most recent show "Look at all my Shit!" at Richard Heller Gallery, Strother (NAP #85) packs another solo show full of his little black character cutouts or "minions" in his usual style. Focusing this show on National Geographic and the NBA, Strother takes his characters through the jungles of Africa to the concrete jungle of the NBA stadiums. Packed with humor, irony, wit, and satire, his shows always offer something to talk and think about.
His characters play on existing caricatured stereotypes of African Americans and speak to race quite frankly and directly. However, it is not always clear exactly what the commentary behind his direct voice might actually be saying or thinking. – Ellen C. Caldwell, Los Angeles Contributor
Devin Troy Strother | That National Geographic shit: "Guuuuuurl, we need to get out of this jungle tho, these nniggas are trip pin, I got a pantha and you got a cheetah, so let's see who's the lead!", 2013, painted paper, acrylic, construction paper, and gouache, 39.5 x 50. Courtesy of Richard Heller Gallery.
October 18, 2013, 7:45am
In case you haven't noticed the big new image on our home page, New American Paintings West Issue #108, was released this week. Juror, Veronica Roberts, did an amazing job. We'll do our best to have sneak peek photos early next week. In the meantime, check it out online and buy it now!
Congrats to all 40 selected artists!
October 16, 2013, 8:00am
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.
October 15, 2013, 8:00am
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
October 14, 2013, 8:00am
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
October 09, 2013, 8:00am
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.
October 08, 2013, 8:00am
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.
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