In 1988 at the age of nine Tyson Skross moved with his family from suburban Texas to Geneva, Switzerland. Living there, wedged between the largest, most mysterious lake in Western Europe and the Swiss Alps with their historical relationship with romanticism, he witnessed many unusual natural phenomenon. These incidents, which he refers to as “glitches”, opened his mind to the fallacy of reality and also solidified his deep attachment to indefinite geography.
Marion Balac lives and works in France. She creates large graphite works that are jam packed with detail. Her drawings often feature extremely dense foliage juxtaposed with large white voids. The visual combination of painstaking detail coupled with empty space helps to accentuate her lush compositions. Are the mysterious ghostly forms ominous forces? Or respite from an ever swelling forest? The viewer is pulled into a stark landscape where anxiety reigns.
The photographs of Matthew Monteith‘s series Guardare turn the subject back on to the viewer. His images depict people explaining, gazing at, and otherwise admiring art. When I first heard about the series I was prepared to be annoyed with the pedantic gestures and expressions of people acting smarter than thou. However, the photographs are surprisingly endearing. People are visibly moved, sincerely engaged with the work often just out of frame. Guardare perhaps suggests that the art in a gallery doesn’t happen with the work but between two viewers discussing it.
I LOVE PAINTING! Maybe this is not so much of a secret if you’ve been following Beautiful/Decay for a while– but every time I see a Dana Schutz painting I just want to scream out…..”I LOVE PAINTING!” Dana’s a painter’s painter. A painter whose techincal chops rivals only her bizarre imagination and quirky themes. A painter who’s willing to take risks and use bold color with no fear. Unfortunately for me, Dana doesn’t currently show her work in LA. So, it was a great treat to get a copy of her fantastic new monograph today, released by art publishing hereos Rizzoli.
Rizzoli has to be one of my favorite art publishers to date. They always release monographs on the best artists of our generation. And Dana Schutz’s book is no exception: it’s filled with over 200 pages of work and essays documenting her artistic evolution. If you’re a fan of Dana, or of painting in general, you need to add this book to your collection. I guarantee it won’t disappoint!
Since 2003 Judith Ann Braun has been experimenting with a new artistic medium and a set of rules: Symmetry, abstraction, and a carbon medium (usually charcoal or graphite). Braun’s work, Fingerings, entails the use of her fingers in lieu of more traditional tools in order to create intricate and bilaterally symmetrical designs, sometimes covering an entire wall. The details of her sweeping landscapes are also all perfectly symmetrical. For some of these works, Braun will use both hands simultaneously to help create the symmetrical effect she wishes to execute. Braun lives in New York City and was a contestant on Bravo TV’s “Work of Art” in 2010.
The work of photographer Stefano Bellamoli seems at once terrestrial and alien, ancient and futuristic. These images were captured in the dark marble mines of Verona, Italy. Bellamoli needed to make use of a long exposure time in order to work in the black surroundings. With a handheld light and the long exposures added ‘light sculptures’ to the eerie landscapes. Spheres of light seem to float over the stone, the single light sources in the tunnels.
Artist Chris Wood likes to exploit the magic of light, and more particularly, the light that passes through glass. Working specifically with Dichroic glass (meaning two color), she installs pieces or shards of the material on walls at different angles, allowing the different color and reflections to play off each other. Arranging the glass in usually geometric, or circular forms, they take on the appearance of futuristic mandalas, or some complex physics experiment. The installations are wildly varied in color, at times the glass is completely transparent and subtle, or can be densely rainbow colored, or even entirely opaque and metallic.
Dichroic glass was actually developed by NASA in the late fifties to protect against harmful effects of direct sunlight and cosmic radiation, and is a very unique material. Due to it’s unique nature, it is a captivating material to work with with unlimited potential. Wood says of her interest in it:
Glass is a material which allows me to exploit the aesthetic potential of light. Minimal structures, support simple arrangements of glass, which interact with light to create complex patterns of light and shade, which change depending upon the position of the viewer and the angle of the light source. (Source)
Wood also works with the Dichroic glass outdoors, setting up quiet installations that play off the reflections and colors of the environment. Favoring water and greenery, she is able to make us look twice at the nature we take for granted around us.