Saturday, April 19, 2014
I'm excited to see this show in Akron after missing his talked about retrospective at The Bronx Museum.
Tony was represented by the same gallery as me for a while.
An artist who stacks milk crates, hangs plastic bottles or places pennies on the floor creates a lot of eye rolls.
But spending time with the work often makes me see poetry and potential meaning in the most overlooked things.
My guess is this one is worth the trip.
Thursday, April 10, 2014
|OMG! What a great night on Penn Ave (Brian Kane installation on the MWFA facade)|
I knew it was going to be great night when I got off the bus on Friendship and spotted that double rainbow. Sure, it was spattering a little, but it wasn't even bad enough to put up an umbrella.
My first stop was Garfield Artworks and the Pittsburgh Artists Against Fracking fundraiser. The gallery looked great, as did ALL of the donated art work. The final count was 78 donating artists, many of whom contributed multiple pieces. Kudos and roses for Bob Ziller, who coordinated the event, making sure that the gallery was in top shape for the opening. There are several pieces from the show included in the gallery at the end of this post. If you weren't able to make it to the opening, there will be a CLOSING PARTY on Monday, April 28th from 6 to 9 pm.
|Matt Gatto VIII|
If you're planning on going to the Mr. Roboto Project over the next month, you'll have a chance to see Megan Shalonis' Mansion Apartment Shack House. These brightly painted assemblages are sweetly charming. Now, I am seriously old; I had never heard of the game that is referred to in the show title. I did look it up, though. It seems pretty popular, you should see the umpteen number of returns I got on search.
|Anonymous Street Art|
I stopped in at Edge Studio, but I must have missed the Pyrotopia promo. The doors were up, and the two artists that were there had a nice collection. Louis Boston the "Pi Guy" who does art from mathematical equations and anomalies, had a table of prints based on pi. The robot sculptures of Donald Jones were simply fun.
Stay tuned for part 2 of the first Springtime Unblurred. In the meantime, get ye to the Waterfront for the opening of Most Wanted Fine Art's new digs! The grand opening is this Saturday. More images from Unblurred are available in the slideshow. Image credit: Jason Sauer (for the OMG! image)
Tuesday, April 08, 2014
|Laura McLaughlin + Kevin Snipes | Flow: Recent Iterations in Clay|
Laura Jean McLauglin is a prolific artist, consistently producing quality ceramic works. Her works, while giving a passing nod to the humble platter and bowl, express a personal narrative through her graphic imagery and sense of color.
In Flow, there is a fair sampling of the colorful works that I have always appreciated. There is a bowl, Polka Vase, whose inside glowed with orange-y warmth. But I was really struck by her sculptures at Borelli Edwards. There were a few that I particularly liked, and they are included in the images at the end of this post.
I was particularly struck by Guerney for a Forest. The expression is enigmatic; the eyes aren't the same and you feel an intent regard. One eyebrow is raised, with an exaggerated arch that goes beyond mere doubt. The mouth is soft and belies the age of that wrinkled brow with its innocent youthfulness. It's an uneasy piece, with complex subtexts.
Included in the exhibit are a few collaborative works between McLaughlin and Bob Qualters. I've included an image below (titled Knowledge), and want to mention the there is a retrospective of Mr. Qualters' work at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts (closing April 20).
Flow continues through April 12 at Borelli Edwards Gallery in Lawrenceville.
Friday, March 21, 2014
On Friday, April 4, 2014 GA/GI’s grand 5th Anniversary theme is: "Earth, Wind & Fire." It's a tribute to three of nature's greatest elements. Just weeks before the 43rd international Earth Day it's also to thank Pittsburgh's fire-fighting forces for their tireless, brave work within the community.
GA/GI 5 (99% free to the public) will be held on April 4 with some events extending into Saturday and Sunday in the Garfield/Friendship business district, primarily between 4800 and 5500 Penn Avenue and it's part of the monthly "Unblurred" First Fridays art crawl. One of primary elements of focus is “fire.” The festival will host a "Fire Safety/Family Circle" sponsored by Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield which features a fire truck, fire dancers and a raku pottery firing in association with the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts. Another venue will host a fashion show celebrating local firefighters titled: Hotter Than Hell.
|City of Pittsburgh now recruiting!|
|Mary Brennan, Mrs. PA 2013|
|Brian Kane's iconic balloon sculpture|
|From the mouth of Pyrotopia /GBBN/Edge Studio|
The mission of the Geek Art/Green Innovator's Festival (GA/GI) hasn't changed since its inception as one of the key events of World Environment Day held in 2010 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: To present unique, emerging, and existing technology and environmental projects to the general public in an open, artistic venue. Since that time, no other neighborhood arts event has hosted a more diverse range of scientists, environmentalists, green vendors, fashion designers, video designers, architects, art galleries and artists, local businesses, DIY'ers, universities or students in all levels of education in the city of Pittsburgh.
The festival's dedication of purpose was recognized and rewarded by the Pittsburgh Technology Council in 2012 with a DATA award. The festival is produced by Passports: The Art Diversity Project in collaboration with The Penn Avenue Arts Initiative, a partnership of Bloomfield Garfield Corporation and Friendship Development. Over 50 businesses and galleries will participate in the GA/GI event! Visit the website for regular updates. Click here.
Contact: Christine Bethea / email@example.com
Posted by Passports: the Art DIversity Project at 8:00 PM
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
|Fun a Day at Mr Roboto|
Warmer weather brought a few more people out for the first Friday Unblurred event. Including me, and my erstwhile companion. I have really missed going to these events, but this winter has had some really rough weather, not to mention a sprained ankle.
The Fun A Day Project was a fun show. (See what I did there?) Lots of artists took part in this, and it looks like it might be an annual event. The premise is to make and artwork a day during the month of January. It lends itself to small works, but the installation can make them seem like a larger work. This ws particularly true of Laura Vincent's small ceramic pieces. If you missed the opening of Fun A Day at Mr. Roboto Project, you can always swing by for the closing this Friday.
|Sherry Rusinack at the Clay Penn|
Across the street is Laura McLauglin's Clay Penn. Laura's work is interspersed with pieces from other artists. In March, she is featuring the work of Sherry Rusinack. It's a very inviting venue, full of color and cats. Even on a busy Unblurred night, the Clay Penn is restful.
I got to ModernFormations just before the gallery closed for the night. Note to self: Plan on starting at ModernFormations instead of ending there! I had just enough time to look at the work and get a couple of pictures. The March exhibit, AMALGAMATIONS: Paintings by Brad Heiple and Sophia McGuire, is lovely.The works are textured, color fields. The fields, blended from a disparate palette, remain dynamic.
Although we are nearing the end of the month, there is still time to view the exhibit for yourself. There's a gallery of images for March's Unblurred below, including some from the Amalgamation exhibit.
Head's up to all my fellow First Friday travelers: April brings the return of the GA/GI festival, so extra everything this coming Unblurred. The schedule is full, and spills over throughout the weekend.
Wednesday, March 12, 2014
|Phyllida Barlow TIP|
Special care was taken to involve community groups in and around Pittsburgh with the curators and artists involved in the current exhibit. An apartment was rented in Lawrenceville, where curators and CI!# artists met with selected members of the Pittsburgh arts community. Zoe Strauss (above) set up a portrait studio in Homestead. Transformazium has instigated an Art Lending Collection in Braddock.
Survey shows really are meant to expose trends and not necessarily an individual vision. This survey exhibit covered a lot of ground, showcasing work in several mediums. The artists are from as close as Philadelphia and as far away as China. Some are steeped in the nuances of current art trends while others can easily be categorized as outsider artists. Figurative, abstract, time-based; whatever your preferred form, has their own trends within the larger sphere. A few years go, the term pluralism was used to try to tame the tangle of directions. But it seems now like that term was just a way to make it seem like a fractitious period of art-making had a unifying purpose.
Over the last week, reviews began to roll out for the Whitney Biennial. I was very interested to read what Jerry Saltz had to say. The Whitney Biennial, like CI13, was curated by a team, but included a producing artist along with the professional curators. It made me wonder if CI13 would have been better served if the curatorial team had included somebody whose career wasn't dependent on curating.
CI13 was self-referential, with art and artists chosen that furthered the dialog of the art sphere rather than the expressive value of the art itself. It would have been a pleasure beyond belief to discover a masterwork among the works in the exhibit; something that compelled to action or contemplation. But I think that the art sphere isn't really meant to support that level of work.
Tuesday, March 04, 2014
|Phyllida Barlow TIP|
The work by Phyllida Barlow, pictured above, greets visitors to the museum at the street level. I thought that the juxtaposition with Richard Sera's monumental work really set the tone for the International. If you look into the structure, you'll see how it has accumulated detritus at its roots, with empty fast food containers and Big Gulp cups, which may be unintended but surely not unexpected. So many of the works and artists in CI13 were working with ephemeral materials, but not on this grand of a scale.
|Sadie Benning and Vincent Fecteau|
In fact, there is a sense of deliberation on the curators' parts throughout the exhibit. This International was co-curated by Daniel Baumann, Dan Byers, and Tina Kukielski, and I am sure that there was a lot of discussion and negotiation to reach a consensus on which artists and works to include. The curators' selections, according to the statement, "...presents new voices rooted in history, a sense of place, and play." The curatorial team, and artists whose work is included in the exhibit, went beyond the walls of the museum to work with community members, as well as some local artists.
There are a few buzzwords floating around the art world lately, and types of work that seem to be garnering a lot of attention. The sculptor as painter, artists whose work is a curation of life, abstraction, and anti-monumental art are all concepts that have surfaced in recent critical discourse. The curators of CI13 certainly included examples of these types of art in the exhibit. Since these are current trends, and this is a survey exhibit of contemporary art, there is real reason to acknowledge this type of discourse. Many of the works referenced the artworld and previous art movements. The exhibit reflects the pluralism prevalent in the arts community, with narrative paintings sharing space with found object assemblage and an exhibit that runs the gamut of static to ephemeral to installation.
While I did enjoy several of the pieces and artists included in the exhibit, I would be hard-pressed to say that I found anything particularly compelling. I suppose I've grown jaded, after decades of producing and viewing art. Although the politics and social commentary in some of the pieces is well-expressed, they are already points of view that I hold; I need no convincing. Nothing really stopped me in my tracks and made me say I've never thought of it that way or I wonder how that was made. But that's okay. I may be outside the demographic that the show is trying to reach.
|Pedro Reyes Disarm|
Guo Fengyi's scrolls were installed in the last of the line of galleries. Of all of the works presented in the exhibit, these were the ones that tugged at my heart.These seemed very personal, from their subject to their execution. The marks were practiced and deliberate while the work itself freely flowed.
The paintings borrow from several movements, heavily influenced by Cubism, Surrealism and Fauvism. Her hand on her tools is as varied, from flat, broad brushstrokes to areas where contrasting colors are blended into harmony. Her work is very art meta, talking about style and technique in a cacophony of colors and figures that become the focus rather than the vehicle of expression.
This post has gotten long, and I don't think I've said everything I'd like to say about CI13. So, even though I didn't intend to, I will post a second installment in the next few days. There are a couple small details that I want to mention. CMoA is closed on Tuesdays but is open on Mondays, with extended hours on Thursdays. The Museum is free every Thursday evening in March.