Friday, January 14, 2011

Another large gap. Significantly longer than the time between the two previous posts. I sometimes think I should update this more frequently. I enjoy looking for contemporary artists who can help me in some way; or with less me me me in mind, can help others. Consistency is exhausting and the search for painters I like nowadays even more so. I'm working on that.

This artist is named Noah Davis. He works with a number of ideas, most obviously being that of figuration and African American identity. There's a video of him online at one of this exhibition receptions talking and meeting people he will probably never see again. In that video he describes a painting with Egyptian mythology in mind so there is more to the paintings than black guy, black girl, and here is what I am saying about that. I'm not one for complicated things so that seemingly limited concept is fine with me. I like a few of his paintings and don't like most of his other ones. These ones I liked. The first one seems to involve a more intimate painting session with the figure which in the end resulted in a structurally sound portrait. This deviates in other paintings and a whispy, airy figurative presence dominates. Lots of strange, flimsy compositions and mistakable drips, I can't say I'm a fan of those. But these, these are v. nice.

Richard's Reply

Oil and acrylic on canvas
60 x 62 inches

Single Mother With Father In the Picture
Oil and acrylic on canvas
30 x 40 inches

I like Marlene Dumas. Maya Bloch likes Marlene Dumas. I am fond of Bloch's use of saturation and desaturation and using that to indicate depth of space as well as her use of multiple figures placed around a table, a theme she uses frequently. Looking at her pictures, I will consider the use of more transparencies and turp heavy mark making. Her use of color is interesting in that there is an abundant use of grays and middle hued colors dulling things down a bit but occasionally supported by vibrant colors used with even more vibrant colors. She can draw and I like that.

Untitled, (Seated figure)
Mixed media on canvas
36 x 48 inches

Untitled, (Reclining figure)
acrylic on canvas
59 x 47 in

I do not enjoy a lot of Catherine Ryan's new work. It is a mixture of charcoal and paint with more use of charcoal than paint and it all looks to cutesy for me to take. I'm interested in her older work on her website, the ones that use big flat divisions, big shapes and good patterns perhaps a little too graphically. Those things I like but the transition from that to her new work took a strange turn with a less than favorable result. Her use of the photograph is evident and can be somewhat clumsy at times but overall, mostly I think it works. Seeing her draw a face or two would be interesting, though.

Two Boys in Costume

acrylic and charcoal on canvas
48 x 60 inches

Two Boys
acrylic and charcoal on canvas
24 x 18 inches

I found an artist in a magazine but lost the piece of paper on which I wrote his name and still can't find it online. Putting the tags "gay" "bear" "art" into an image search doesn't direct me to the images of the art that I wanted but in my hopeless task, I managed to find another artist just by chance. He is also involved with, or maybe only comments on, gay culture, specifically that of the bear variety. Nolan Hendrickson does some things I like here. There is a use of very flat shapes drawn rather idiosyncratically and crudely. I'm not sure of the medium in most of his work as it is not listed on his website but most likely acrylic paint and possibly marker are used. Harsh diagonals in the paintings remind me of Kitaj, specifically an early painting of his titled "The Ohio Gang."

Gentle Leader


Rest Area


Catherine Kehoe teaches at Massachusetts College of Art. Her work revolves around perception and the ability to see. In Kehoe's case, this involves self portraiture, still life, and the subject of distant relatives she has never met. Her work is obviously comparable to Uglow and other Coldstream students who take on their work with meticulous attention, though likely maybe not as mathematical in its approach but just as serious in its capability to understand. The majority of her still life work isn't too interesting to me but its the way she handles paint in her portraiture that deserves praise of some kind. Her "Direct Descent" is also very worthy of attention.

Biala bluzka 3
oil on panel
8 x 8 inches

oil on panel
11 x14 inches

9 months more maybe but others soonish I hope.