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Month: March, 2012

Museums in North Carolina

Why is this Pomodoro different from other Pomodoros? Well, it isn’t really, maybe a little bigger. Charlotte is a town that cares about it’s public life and public spaces. Plenty of plazas and parks filled with art.

This is the Mint Museum Uptown. There are three brand new museums within a block of here plus theatre etc. This museum focuses on craft and design.

Many of the paintings seem to have come from period local collections. This is a George Bellows. Weirdly, in North Carolina they include the artist’s middle name so I get confused. Who the hell is George Wesley Bellows?

Below is a detail from a gigantic Kahinde Wiley. It is really flat, handless, painting in the detail but the massive portrait of cool African American youth overlaid with elegant European decorative motif becomes an important monument here offering the grand respect European royalty receives in other nearby portraits.

This was an unexpected treat by a European sculptor I had not seen before; a pine tree, sans needles, decorated with clear glass balls filled with…pine needles, presented on an unfinished pine platform.20120329-141019.jpg
The happiest Motherwell I have ever seen. The abundance of art here is great but there seems to be an unusual requirement for pleasantness. Not a disturbing stroke to be found.20120329-141033.jpg
In this relatively small museum they found room for three in depth special exhibits. All take elements of art history and add a family twist. Here, Yves Tanguy is side by side with his wife, Kay Sage. In another, local Surrealist is examined through the works he sent to his sister. Sweet but I kind of want to be offended by modern art.
Plenty of ceramic around. Here’s a grand Jun Kaneko in the lobby. I was amused to see that Allan Chasanoff’s ceramic collection landed here. I was his studio assistant after college as he was piling them up. It is intriguing to follow works from gallery to collector to museum. Some museums are filled with works so newly minted that I sort of feel the pricetag on the back. Maybe that’s just me getting old and remembering the works on gallery walls before they settled into higher digs.


College Art Association and a little Art in LA

Made it from Aspen to Los Angeles in about six hours on one of the little prop planes that rose and fell in the turbulence. Everyone clapped when we hit the ground.
My little room at the Sheraton looks grubby and perhaps unsafe after the St Regis. A dangerous precedent.
I am in town to attend the annuan conference of the College Art Association in Los Angeles at the Conference Center, meet some friends, see a little art.


I find great beauty in the working end of restaurants. Los Angeles is such a factory with huge teams of workers. This is the customer’s view of the kitchen at The Pantry on Figuroa. I had the Cheesesteak with a side of slaw and a diet coke. The whole thing weighed about three pounds.


College Art Association was held at the Conference Center just behind the Staples Center. The day before we arrived ten thousand people had been sworn in as citizens. Even the view of their chairs is a little moving. I had a nice chat with the guys in the chair moving dozer. I think they do this every month.20120229-212410.jpg


Talk about sex appeal. The above is a panel of artists talking about their studios and work on a panel called “Raw” chaired by critic Michael Duncan. I threw this in because the dad of the artist I wrote about in Aspen, Garabedian, is last on the right. But now I see he is not even visible. My co-critic on this trip noted that the CAA conference completely lacked sex appeal. Dozens of rooms just like this one with folks on the dias reading from papers. All the sensuality of the very same industrial carpet pictured here.


I had the opportunity to see a private collection in the home of the collector. He happened to have a lot of work that was material driven. For example, this yellow piece is likely made up of styrofoam coated in textured latex but the work completely transcends the elements and fully becomes a thinkg all its own.


The below piece is a real surprise. This is a cast plaster work. I think the form it was cast from was a thin plastic garbage bag filled with…who knows? Plush toys? The surface is just fantastic in how it holds both the texture of the garbage bag surface and the shape and feel of the objects contained.


This one just knocked my socks off. You are looking at fake fur, spraypainted and then encased in shower curtain plastic. Who would have guessed? And who would think so little could do so much.


I loved the below work. It was about four or five feet high, wall hung with lots of delightful dangly bits. The piece was composed primarily of wire and dipped in enamel or some kind of plastic, forming those jewel like films in the gaps. The bounce of the wire, beads, also dipped in goo, integrated the work in the unified color and texture. I think it is a fantastic piece. You can see how the artist just started and one thing led to the next.


The below work is kind of preposterous. See both pictures below. It is a lampshade attached to the wall, the interior shaped and colored with a layer of yellow je ne sais quoi.


The below was something of a surprise as well. I ran into this at a gallery in Culver City. Made from layers of plasticized corrugated paper, ripped and then stapled into layers. Foliage forms sprayed onto the surface before it was shredded then form a new image when reconstructed. I took the picture so the staples would remain visible both as scars and so you can see how they become part of the texture of the whole.


oops.this is the picture of the lamp shde transformation.20120229-212735.jpg