Month: September 2012

Venus Transits

posted by – 09/29/12 @ 12:22pm

Tinney Contemporary artist Jaq Belcher’s commissioned piece Venus Transits has finally arrived. It will be making its way to the home of a private collector in Nashville after its debut at JHB Gallery in New York. Belcher’s work begins with a simple piece of white paper. Instead of adding to the page, she cuts away from it in a series of repeated forms. For this commission, Belcher was inspired by the movement of Venus across the sun, a rare celestial event that occurred on June 5th of this year. She completed the work on the Blue Moon of August 22nd, 3 whole moon cycles later. Comprised of 28,500 individual cuts into its paper panels, Venus Transits represents a remarkable new accomplishment for the artist.

 

 

Fiber Art

posted by – 09/29/12 @ 12:06pm

Our upcoming show opening on October 6th features the work of Jack Hastings and Arlyn Ende. Both artists work in many different mediums, including sculpture, collage, and in Ende’s case, fiber. Fiber art has a long history stretching back to the invention of weaving. It is especially interesting as an art form because of the intense amount of manual labor involved in its production. Ende herself believes, “Textiles create warm, humanizing links between people and places. They enchant the eye and invite the hand. My designs for architecture are shaped by the influence of intriguing materials and challenges of a compelling site.” Ende has created fiber works for the Shalom Theatre, Joel Gordon Community Center, Nashville and Anderson Design Studio, Nashville, to name a few. We are looking forward to displaying these interesting art works, along with other mixed media works by her and Hastings in the upcoming weeks.

 

Celebrations of the Spirit, Shalom Theatre, Joel Gordon Community Center, Nashville

 

Clever street art by Oakoak

posted by – 09/26/12 @ 2:29pm

Have you heard of the French street artist Oakoak? Rather than using the outdoors as merely an exhibition place, Oakoak’s art is fully engaged with its surroundings. With a great eye for spotting what become quite clever arrangements with the addition of his own twists, Oakoak (whose real identity is anonymous) creates pieces based on his observations of humorous relationships between objects on the street. He defines himself as an artist who “likes to play with urban elements”, and the results are fantastic. A few personal favorites (click for a bigger version):

(Under the walls, the sea)

You can see more of Oakoak’s work on his Facebook page or his website, which are sure to make you marvel at the clever connections that he’s able to make.

 

Weems Forces Us to Confront Hard Issues in New Retrospective

posted by – 09/20/12 @ 11:03am

Carrie Mae Weems: Three Decades of Photography and Video will open at the Frist this weekend. The exhibition was curated by Katie Delmez, and has gained much hype and excitement both in Nashville and nationally. Weems has spent her career as a photographer exploring issues of race, gender and the subjugation of people. Delmez was quoted in the New York Times explaining “When you’re talking about Carrie Mae Weems, you’re going to talk about race and gender and classism, but I really think it goes beyond that to her desire to insert all marginalized people into the historical record, as she says, to tell the stories that have been ignored or forgotten or erased.” In her 1995-96 series “From Here I Saw What Happened and I Cried” for example, Weems takes historical photographs of slaves, dyes them blood red, and inscribes sayings such as “An Anthropological Debate,” and “Some Said You Were the Spitting Image of Evil”. Weems also uses herself as the subject in many of her photographs to comment on the marginalization of female artists, especially African American ones, throughout art history. In her 1997 series “Not Manet’s Type” she laments the idolization of the white body in art. Because it provides the first retrospective of this influential artist who deals with such profound issues, this exhibition is thought to position the Frist among the major art museums and institutions in the country. The show will go on to travel, and finally end up at the Guggenheim in New York. This is not to be missed while it is still in Nashville!

“From Here I Saw What Happened and I Cried”

"Not Manet's Type"

 

 

“Use it or Lose it”

posted by – 09/19/12 @ 2:28pm

We’ve blogged before about the sense of exhilaration that buying a piece of art can provide, but what about the health benefits of just sheer creativity? Long-term, challenging tasks such as playing a musical instrument or learning a second language may be able to prevent a decline in brain function according to a recent study in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, while the Journal of Aging and Health reports that creativity “serving as an indication of openness, the willingness to try new things and accept new ideas”  may have led to a 12% decrease in mortality risk in a study of older male veterans. Just as we’re told to eat well and stay physically fit, being open minded and constantly engaging our imagination seems to be just as important in the process of aging. A new special “Arts and the Mind” airing this fall on PBS extols the values of art programs for children and older adults, and suggests that physical and creative activities like dance may even be able to ward of diseases like dementia. So, next time on a Saturday afternoon when you’re looking for something to do, maybe try something like Paint Along Nashville which provides the material and instruction to create a 16 X 20 canvas painting (they even have BYOB classes once a week…),  or harken back to your childhood and try Brushfire Pottery studio, where you pick out a piece of pottery and paint it however you like. If you’re feeling especially ambitious, you could even try picking up a new language this fall at the Tennessee Foreign Language Institute or the Alliance Française.

A New Community Mural for Hillsboro Village

posted by – 09/13/12 @ 11:35am

If you’ve been to Hillsboro Village lately you may have noticed a new mural outside Kay Bob’s on Capers Avenue and 21st street. This is in fact the work of Andee Rudloff, an artist and community activist, who has been very involved in public art in Nashville by creating work for the Nashville International Airport among other locations. The mural celebrates the character of Hillsboro Village, as well as promotes community and neighborhood relationships by encouraging participation from the public. Both the Oasis Center and S.T.A.R.S. Nashville helped realize its creation, and members of the Art Walk Audience in Hillsboro were asked to help out in painting it. The mural not only brightens the area but is also something that members of the neighborhood can be proud of creating. Next time you’re in the area be sure to check it out!

Hillsboro Village Community Mural

 

Andy Warhol Foundation to liquidate 20,000 works

posted by – 09/11/12 @ 10:51am

The Andy Warhol Foundation recently announced that it will be selling off its entire collection of over 20,000 Warhol paintings, drawings, photographs, prints and graphics at Christie’s starting this fall. The Foundation hopes to earn at least $100 million, which they will use to increase their endowment and bolster philanthropic programs. The initial sale will be on November 12th, and subsequent online auctions will continue for the next few years until all the pieces are sold. In addition, the Foundation will donate some works to museums. Of the numerous pieces in the Foundation’s collection, most are smaller and less important works. The piece expected to fetch the highest price is “Three Targets”, c. 1985-86, estimated at $1,000,000-1,500,000. This is in stark contrast to “Green Car Crash,” which Christie’s auctioned for $71.7 million in 2007. Although this sale will provide collectors with opportunities to acquire works that have never before been seen by the public, many worry that this sale will flood the market and drastically lower prices. However, the fact that the sale is spread over several years and that the works are not the most expensive out there might mean that this sale will not have as devastating an impact as expected. The Warhol market has proven exceptionally strong over the past several years, and with any luck it will continue to display resilience.

 

Andy Warhol, "Three Targets"

Yarnbombing: “Take back the knit!”

posted by – 09/08/12 @ 2:17pm

No, it’s not the newest method of middle school sleepover vandalism, but rather one of the latest forms of guerilla street artwork. The Public Art Network blog teasingly defines it as “Verb. To gently fashion knitted and crocheted works to public surfaces as cozy, impermanent graffiti”. Also termed “grandma graffiti”, this worldwide phenomenon has artists taking to the streets and knitting pieces directly onto various objects such as statues like “Charging Bull” near Wall Street in New York, as well as tree trunks, buses, and lampposts, among other items. Some artists have even managed to parlay this into full time jobs, receiving commissions from companies like Mini Cooper, Toyota and Etsy and requiring several assistants to complete their works. Though some “yarnbombers”  get offended when their artwork is referred to as so, others take a more humorous approach, recognizing that not all work needs to be on display in an art gallery. Either way, this playful street art is delightful. Have you happened upon any yarnbombing in Nashville?

A bus in Mexico City by Maga Sayeg

"Charging Bull"

The Cyanotype Updated

posted by – 09/06/12 @ 11:29am

In today’s fast paced modern age it seems like traditional methods of photography are giving way more and more to digital techniques. Digital photography has made the practice of taking pictures more accessible to the everyday person who can snap a picture on a cell phone and share it instantly with friends and social media. There is something to be said about the instant gratification of seeing your picture on the camera screen. However, despite this technology craze artists Susan Weil and José Betancourt have chosen to return to the roots of photography and experiment with the most primitive methods for documenting images. These artists work together to develop ways of updating techniques such as Van Dyke Brown printing, photograms, and especially the Cyanotype.

Cyanotype Process

Cyanotype is a photographic printing process that produces a cyan-blue print image, or blueprint. It was discovered by Sir John Herschel in 1842 and was originally used by engineers to make large-scale blueprints. A year later, Anna Atkins used this method to produce images of plants and seaweed. Her subsequent book, British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions, is credited as the first to be illustrated with photography. The technique involves creating a light sensitive surface by mixing a solution of potassium ferricyanide and ferric ammonium citrate and applying it to the desired medium. While watercolor paper is often preferred, a Cyanotype can be printed on any surface capable of soaking up the iron solution. Objects or negatives are then placed on the prepared surface. The image is exposed to ultraviolet light and rinsed in water, causing the surface to turn a deep, Prussian blue.

Susan Weil and José Betancourt employ this technique in a contemporary context by using it to create sculptural forms and geometric compositions. Their constructions explore this historical photographic technique in an updated way. Their method is in stark contrast to the digital images that we are used to seeing everyday. The ghostly blue images look fresh and unique to the modern viewer, but at the same make us nostalgic for the past.

Susan Weil and José Betancourt "Catenary II"

The Life of a “Gallery Girl”

posted by – 09/05/12 @ 4:10pm

Even if you haven’t given in to them yet (you’re better than I), you’re probably aware of Bravo’s ever expanding oeuvre of reality TV shows, the latest of which takes place in the art world (or so it claims). As Kenny Schacter for NYC-based website GalleristNY puts it, “Gallery Girls is a reality show concerning seven young women who are allegedly attempting to break into some dubious incarnation of the art world, by working for galleries, consultants, and in one case, as an artist.”

Though its been panned by art critics like Blake Gopnik of the Daily Beast for its misrepresentation of the New York art world, the show has garnered a considerable amount of attention on various art blogs and online media outlets, and despite its alleged “misrepresentation”, is pretty entertaining regardless. If you’ve seen the show, or if you have even the slightest curiosity about what goes on in a day of a “gallery girl” intern, I can confirm and deny a few allegations.

Have I had to do something like count pebbles in two identical bonsai plants like poor intern Maggie, who works at a contemporary Chinese gallery in Soho? Or sit in the back organizing the collection of plastic bags for cleaning up after the gallery owner’s dog?  Fortunately, this is a resounding no (for now..) But I also don’t have an outrageously spacious apartment in a prime location like unpaid intern Kerri mysteriously does, nor am I aiming to project myself to “It-Girl” status by staging a personal exhibit with a body of work of what seems like ten photographs, like party-photographer Angela.

For a show called “Gallery Girls”, a miniscule amount of time is spent in actual art galleries, dealing with what could actually make for quite an interesting show. Things like the process of convincing an artist to sign, handling the crowd at an opening, or – gasp – even the curatorial and installation process fail to make significant appearances. But I suppose things like that just aren’t as entertaining as passive aggressive lunch dates and intern torture!

Gallery Girls is on at 9PM Mondays on Bravo. Will you be watching? I will…