Sumida Hokusai Museum Opening

posted by – 11/29/16 @ 3:02pm

An article on Artnet details the opening of the Sumida Hokusai Museum in Tokyo on November 22nd. The museum features the work of Katsushika Hokusai, a Japanese artist best recognized for his The Great Wave off Kanazawa. This iconic 19th Century woodblock print, from his “36 Views of Mount Fuji” series will be on display in the museum alongside changing exhibitions featuring a collection of 1,800 paintings by the artist.  The museum also features a recreation of Hokusai’s Susanoo-no-Mikoto Yakujin Taiji no Zu, which had been lost in the Great Kanot Earthquake in 1923, as well as Sumidagawa Ryogan Keshiki Zukan, a 23 foot long scroll recovered from going missing for over a century when it was taken abroad.

(AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko/Japan Times)

(AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko/Japan Times)

Hokusai was a famous artist, best known for his illustrations, paintings, and prints done in the ukiyo-e genre, featuring a seemingly hedonistic urban Japanese lifestyle. It wasn’t until his 70’s when Hokusai created one of the art world’s most iconic images, nicknamed The Great Wave. The print can be seen in across the globe in museums from New York, Boston, Chicago and LA.  The print’s original conception was rooted in commercialism. The  “36 Views of Mount Fuji” series was intended to showcase Mount Fuji as a sacred icon of Japanese identity that had its own cult following.  The prints enjoyed attention on the souvenir market, as they were easily reproducible.  Japanese art historians are hesitant to call The Great Wave a definitive representation of their artistic culture because woodblock prints in that style were regarded as a form of expression and commercial printing, not fine art.

Today, The Great Wave enjoys status as a one of the most reproduced artworks in the world.  It has been referenced in films, modern graphic design, video games, album artwork, and even reproduced as a sculpture.  A smaller version of the work is even featured as an emoji!

Regina Jose Galindo at the Vanderbilt Football Stadium

posted by – 11/10/16 @ 1:31pm

regina

This Saturday, November 12th, at 10:00 AM, Regina Jose Galindo, an internationally recognized performance artist will be premiering a public performance piece in the Vanderbilt Football Stadium. Entitled Comunidad, this piece calls upon the Latinx community to exhibit its resilience in troubling times.  Galindo is setting out to “generate a real experience of the strength of the community,” rather than just a pictorial representation.

 

Regina was born in Guatemala and lives in Guatemala City.  As a poet and an artist, her work explores the ethical implications of social injustice. She uses her own body in performance art pieces to illustrate how institutional violence can impact the bodies of women and minorities around the world.  Her often graphic, courageous pieces serve as reenactments of violent history.  Regina calls on her audience to remember this history and use that memory as a tool against social injustice.

 

Galindo calls on the Latinx community of Nashville to create Communidad in the following video: http://www.vanderbilt.edu/clas/regina-jose-galindo

Other members of the Nashville community are invited to observe the performance piece as well.

For more information, or to RSVP, click here.

Michele Pred on The Patriot Act

posted by – 11/01/16 @ 1:17pm

michele-predLast Wednesday was the 15-year anniversary of the passage of the Patriot Act – an Act of Congress whose abbreviation (USA PATRIOT), expanded, describes, “Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism.”  The Patriot Act was passed into law immediately following the terrorist attacks in the fall of 2001, without receiving much scrutiny.  In hindsight of its passing, legislators began to realize the significance of the laws they put into place and how they could potentially subvert federal privacy laws.  Since the tragedies of September 11, 2001, Congress has adopted quite a few new laws that many citizens feel interfere with the delicate balance between combating domestic terrorism and maintaining our own civil rights.  To date, hundreds of American factions have attempted to pass resolutions against the Patriot Act, stating they will not comply with much or all of its restrictions.

One such restriction of the Patriot Act was the federalization and strengthening of airport screening.  At the baggage claim of the San Francisco International Airport, travelers were greeted by conceptual artist, Michele Pred. Clothed in 1960’s-era flight attendant dress, Pred gifted tiny pocket knives reading, “Official Air Travel Replacement Knife” to departing commuters.  The 2.25 inch knives Pred presented are the most common type of pocket knife confiscated by TSA officers.  In regards to the chosen text, Pred stated in an interview with Hyperallergic: “The text that I had printed on them was intended as a somewhat humorous way of driving home the notion that our focus on security has not only taken things away from us, but has not clearly explained what it has given back.”  Pred did receive a Free Speech and Expressive Activities Permit and permission from the airport after an extensive application process.

encirclementHer performance was an extension of a group exhibition through the FOR-SITE foundation in San Francisco, called Home Land Security Her “Encirclement” installation features hundreds of confiscated items from airports arranged in a ring, intended to call attention to the small personal cost that comes with growing airport security.  The exhibition is housed in the Presidio, a former military base overlooking the Bay area.  Home Land Security brings together contemporary artists making work to reflect on the complexity of national security.  The show will be on display through December 18, 2016.

 

 

 

 

 

ArtFields 2017

posted by – 10/11/16 @ 3:03pm

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ArtFields is a public charity created by the Lake City, SC Creative Alliance, whose mission is to contribute to the area’s education and community through creative and cultural development, connecting people through the arts.

Art fields is a weeklong celebration and competition honoring artists of the Southeast. Over 400 submissions by emerging and established artists will be displayed in locally owned venues, such as renovated warehouses, upscale restaurants, boutiques, and art galleries.  The program is offering life-changing amounts of money to artists of all media who live in Southeastern states.  A panel of judges made up of acclaimed artists and educators will be evaluating the work and awarding over $100,000 of prize money up for grabs.  $50,000 for the Top Prize, $25,000 for Juried Panel prize, and two $12,500 People’s Choice.  Various smaller prizes will be awarded, including $1,000 for a portrait painting contest!

The submission deadline is November 16, 2016, and the event will take place April 21-29, 2017.

Visit http://www.artfieldssc.org/ for more information.

Inka Essenhigh at the Frist

posted by – 10/04/16 @ 2:40pm

In Bed

In Bed, 2005

Inka Essenhigh is a New York based painter whose surrealist paintings feature dramatic figure distortions, moody palettes, impossibly vibrant hues, and mythical landscapes.  She manages to transform simple every-day situations into extraordinarily fantastic scenes from a fictitious world. Drawing on imagination, Essenhigh creates intricately detailed topographies, pulling viewers into a whole new realm of existence.

Her influence by modern Surrealism is especially apparent in In Bed, depicting a malformed humanoid blob writhing in a sea of undulant, animated blankets, battling an army of its own inner demons.  She often includes influential, dark, psychological intimations, inviting a contemplation of the unknown. Viewers are then lent to the mercy of their own imaginations.

Green Goddess II, 2009

Green Goddess II, 2009

Essenhigh also revives myth and antiquity, often including characters of lore, gods, goddesses, nymphs, sprits, and elves in her paintings.  Green Goddess II and similar are redolent of animism. The woodlands are depicted as a sentient creature, leaving the relationship between nature and humanity equivocal.

Spring Bar Scene displays a hallucinogenic theme, casting slimy, green characters in a boozy, uncouth atmosphere. The bargoers seem raucous; they sway and carouse while the bartenders maintain a seemingly affectionate demeanor.  Essenhigh recontextualizes the bar atmosphere into a grand, whimsical new territory where her ghoulish characters are fused together and their energy animates the composition.

Spring Bar Scene, 2008

Spring Bar Scene, 2008

A selection of the artist’s paintings and drawings in Inka Essenhigh: Between Worlds are on display at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts in the Gordon Contemporary Artist Project Gallery until October 9th, 2016.

Native American Artists Redefining What It Means to be “American”

posted by – 09/13/16 @ 3:43pm

Since the approval of the Dakota Access Pipeline project in July (and well before this), Native Americans have been peacefully protesting their mistreatment.  In particular, they’re working to preserve sacred and cultural sites.

At the same time, as discussed in Hyperallergic’s article, “Native American Students Fight to Remove Colonial Imagery from University of New Mexico,”  Indigenous people are rejecting labels and stereotypes perpetuated by the current Colonial American Narrative.

Cleopocahantra by Meritt Johnson

Cleopocahantra by Meritt Johnson

As art parallels history, Contemporary Indigenous Artists are growing in popularity alongside these events, such as those featured at the Cross Currents exhibition at Metropolitan State University of Denver in late 2013-2014.  More and more frequently, they are being given a voice to fill in historical gaps, preserve their own culture, and contribute to the current cultural conversation. Each artist in the exhibit explored topics of marginalization, stereotypes, and the deeper meaning of identifying as an Indigenous person in the United States.  Exhibits like this one give them a unique opportunity to draw attention to both historical and current progressions in the treatment of Native Americans.

(No)otalgia by Cannupahanksa Luger

(No)otalgia by Cannupahanksa Luger

“Being a Painter in the Digital Media Age”

posted by – 09/08/16 @ 12:50pm

Artnet news published a beautifully written recount of an interview with young contemporary painter, Jessie Edelman, on being a painter in the digital media age.

Edelman’s painting is primarily influenced by impressionism – a genre of painting that deeply inspired her upon visiting the Art Institute of Chicago at a young age.  She uses this alongside her own unique brand of figuration to express emotion and contemplation on her textured canvases.  She describes her work as “painterly,” purposely exploring the materiality of her paint, leaving evidence of human touch.  In what Walter Benjamin described as “The Age of Mechanical Reproduction,” Edelman maintains her historic roots to combat the mechanization of imagery.  As Impressionists were exploring what it meant to paint with the birth of photography, Edelman contemplates what it means to create paintings in the age of social media.  She utilizes Instagram as a source of references for paintings, in which she often depicts figures sans technology – either bored of or engaged with the scenery.

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Edelman gives a mature reflection on how our phones drastically change the way we view the world.  We swipe through images, seldom ever appreciating their beauty for long, constantly cycling ahead for more content.  In Edelman’s paintings, the figures experience what she describes as “melancholia,” or a separation from the environment they find themselves in. The full Artnet article can be read here.

 

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Knowing her interest in how digital media affects our lives, this melancholy theme in her work leaves viewers to wonder whether their sense of detachment stems from simple contemplation, or their lack of digital media.  The paradox of social media is highlighted: It is meant for connection and sharing information, but it often distracts us from purer elements of living.  It even strips us of true alone time.  Are we truly disconnected without our phones? Has the age of digital media completely changed the way we interact with the real world?

Discovering Frank Larson: Found Photography from the 1950’s

posted by – 08/30/16 @ 2:49pm

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Upon his passing in 1964, an unopened box of Frank Larson’s negatives was left sitting in an attic for 64 years.  Grandson, Soren Larson, discovered this box, containing 100 carefully sorted and labeled envelopes.  He took on the task of digitizing the images and minimally editing them in photoshop. These images, along with their family history, can be viewed at franklarsonphotos.com.

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Frank Larson’s photographs give viewers a unique glimpse into the everyday life of New York City in the 1950’s.

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This dedication to his grandfather isn’t Soren’s only attempt to preserve his family’s art: He also compiled a website for his own father, David Larson.  Soren recounts, “My father also used to speak with admiration about his father’s love of photography and his weekend trips with his Rolleiflex into the city to film places like the Bowery, Chinatown and Times Square.” Perhaps these trips inspired David’s career as an artist.

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Soren proudly displays his father’s body of work – a dense, philosophically themed collection of drawings, paintings, and sculptures.

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Carla Ciuffo: Bridging the Gap Between Art and Science

posted by – 08/23/16 @ 4:31pm

“As we bridge the divide between art and science, my endeavor is to show how artists use science to make their fantasies real and palpable; and how science uses the arts in the same way.” -Carla Ciuffo

Leap of Faith

As an artist in residence at Harvard University, in collaboration with the Disease and Biophysics Group, Carla Ciuffo has developed a new project entitled, “Nano . Stasis Cosmic Garden & the Little Black Dress.”  Her recent series of work flaunts groundbreaking nanofiber technology in an effort to highlight a symbiosis between art and science.

magical formula

Tarr Family Professor of Bioengineering and Applied Physics, Kevin Kit Parker, Ph.D. has pioneered research involving rotary jet spinning production of nanofibers and fabrics. His nanfibers are a significant step forward in the realm of biomedical engineering.  This technology has the potential to be integrated into a broad spectrum of radical new applications, from tissue regeneration to advanced performance fibers in fashion.

Portrait, Kevin Kit Parker, Ph.D. 

Ciuffo had the honor of being the first layperson to work with Parker’s fibers.  Alongside graduate student, Nina Sinatra, Ciuffo has developed tiny nanofiber canvases to be imprinted with her own artwork.  Using a Scanning Electron Microscope, Ciuffo is able to create large acrylic composites to showcase the delicate and whimsical side of these fibers.  She’s also been developing portraiture of models wearing sharp angled garments, inspired by Cartesian geometries, to demonstrate the concept of “neurofashion” with nanofibers.  A combination of these artworks, paired with an educational component narrating the versatile technology of the new nanofibers composes this futuristic traveling multi-media exhibit.

Confession Heart Beat

While art cannot directly communicate scientific fact, it is capable of creating dialogue.  Art challenges science to consider the role of its own narrative, as well as the visual impact of scientific images.  Art serves to recontextualize science, adding a conversation with cultural values.   Science often prescribes a systematic way of thought and communication, while the arts promote nontraditional and creative processes useful to research. The combination of the two subjects promotes their relevance and generates more impactful content.

Nano Fiber Universe

 


Carla Ciuffo’s “Will You Stay with Me? Until the Very End.” is currently on display as a part of the “A Decade in the Making” exhibition until September 17th, 2016. until_the_very_end_web-675x900

 

Tinney Contemporary celebrates 10 years

posted by – 08/04/16 @ 2:47pm

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This Saturday, August 6th, Tinney Contemporary will be celebrating our 10th Anniversary by officially opening up our next exhibition titled, “A Decade in the Making: A 10th Anniversary Exhibition”. Established in 2006 by Susan Tinney, Tinney Contemporary was the second gallery to open on 5th Avenue and was a founding partner of First Saturday Art Crawl, one of the most visible and well-attended art events in the city. The First Saturday Art Crawl, a now well-known and widely celebrated citywide event, will also be celebrating its roots at its 10th Anniversary in August. In August of 2006, the first art crawl featured only a few Nashville-based galleries: The Arts Company, the Twist and Dangenart in the Arcade, and TAG. Though Twist and Dangenart no longer exists and TAG has become Tinney Contemporary, the art crawl continues to thrive and draw hundreds of visitors to 5th avenue on the first saturday of every month.

StyleBlueprintGuide_Tinney_Contemporary_PRODUCT_08-2014-1Since its founding, Tinney Contemporary has striven to present work that is collectible yet also thought-provoking. This challenge has led the gallery to exhibit work by some of the top artists in the region and around the world. Most recently, Tinney featured a three month long guest-curated exhibition featuring the work of several internationally known street artists with the goal of bringing a significant contemporary art movement to Nashville.

“A Decade in the Making” will feature works by Tinney Contemporary artists who have been with the gallery since its founding, as well as recent additions. The featured artists include: Andy Harding, Anna Jaap, Béatrice Coron, Carla Ciuffo, Carlos Gamez de Francisco, Claire B. Cotts, Dorothy O’Connor, Eduardo Terranova, James Perrin, Jane Braddock, Jason Craighead, John Folsom, Kay Ruane, Kuzana Ogg, Martica Griffin, Mary Long, Patricia Bellan-Gillen, Peri Schwartz, Sky Kim, Stefany Hemming, and Tom Brydelsky.

We hope to see you there!