Join us in celebration of the highly anticipated release for Book 1: Supernaturalism, Saturday July 25th, 2009 at Gallery Nucleus. Don’t miss artist Kyle Thomas, who will be signing and taking requests for custom, one of a kind covers for each attendee. Works by Kyle as well as featured artists Ben Tegel, David Jien and Seth Curcio will also be on display until August 3rd. Artists from the book as well as the entire Beautiful/Decay team will also be in attendance.This is a rare opportunity to get a hold of a completely customized, original copy of the limited edition Book 1! Details after the jump.
Viktor Hachmang is a designer and illustrator based in The Hague, The Netherlands. Though visually influenced by ’60s psychedelic posters and ’80s postmodern design, he takes his inspiration from a wide variety of sources and his work often alludes to famous artists and artworks. Central to his work is the illustrative imagery which focuses strongly on decorative details. The concept of collage is also apparent, as his portfolio is a deliberate hodgepodge of various eras in art history and different ways of image making. Hachmang combinines the banal and the beautiful in one image, often mixing intellectual and naive imagery of strict geometry with hand drawn forms. He also co-edits the blog theeyestheysee, an ongoing collection of artists, artworks and other sources of inspiration.
Over the past six years, Stephen Dupont has traveled to Papua New Guinea, photographically documenting its changing face and the powerful impact of globalisation on the fabric of Melanesian society. From the effects of violence and lawlessness in Port Moresby to the westernization of traditional society in the Highlands, Raskols and Sing-Sing is an in-depth study of cultural erosion as well as a celebration of an ancient people.
Photographer Mark Holthusen shows an unexpected side to cockfighting in his aptly-titled series Pelea De Gallos (Cockfight).Instead of capturing the brutal matches, he went a more tame route. Holthusen rented a photo studio called Hollywood Fotos and invited the Partido Tres Hermanos cockfighting team in Zaragosa, Mexico to have their portraits taken.
Holthusen’s pictures focus on seven different team members that pose with their beloved rooster. Some cradle the bird in their arms with others grip it with both hands. Either way, the majestic-looking creature sits as calmly as the men do.
In a blog post about Pelea De Gallos, Holthusen shares his experience. The team is made up of people who are a dentist, teacher, businessman, and student. “In the end they were nothing but smiles, excited to have their pictures taken.”
However docile these images appear, they are tainted with the knowledge that these birds are forced into a cruel blood sport where death is an outcome. Roosters are specifically bred, fed, trained, and given steroids to make them into killing machines for our entertainment. It’s illegal in the United States but still popular and prevalent in many other countries.
If you enjoy Holthusen’s photos, check out his Second in Show series that we recently featured. It highlights the eerie similarities between show dogs and their owners.
Headed over to Brooklyn this morning to Evan Gruzis’s studio, and got to take some photos of his new work – which looks great. Gruzis is on the Deitch Projects roster, and I asked him if he knows anything about Jeffrey Deitch’s plans for his New York operation and he gave me a flat “No,” but said that the people involved are having a meeting sometime next week. Gruzis is known for his hyper-skillful use of ink, and his sardonic re-purposing of advertising’s seductive imagery. In a recent interview he wrote about the work as being “… not product vehicles, but hollow gestures that create a feedback-loop between a familiar aesthetic and a desire for meaning.” Gruzis has a show in Athens in April at Andreas Melas Presents.
German conceptual artist Wolfgang Laib creates his installations from natural materials displayed in very unnatural ways. In “Pollen from Hazelnut,” Laib collected pollen from the area around his studio for over 23 years. In the gallery, he carefully sifted the rich yellow powder into a saturated rectangular field. He says,
“I wanted to have this very intense, concentrated experience … with the pollen. So, the meadow with flowers where I collect the pollen is something very different from how you see it here, a real concentrated experience without any distractions, nothing else.” (Source)
Traditionally, conceptual art is primarily concerned with ideas—aesthetics are mainly disregarded. Laib’s pollen fields are unusual in that they have a strong conceptual basis, yet they’re also lovely and striking. The geometric shapes, as large as 380 square feet, have been described as a “vast luminous field of color” and “a blanket of pure pigment.”
Interestingly it is in the collection of the pollen and the amassed pollen itself where Laib finds the most meaning. The sifting onto the floor is almost irrelevant to him. This exchange is from an interview in The Journal of Contemporary Art
Ottmann [interviewer]: Your pollen pieces are for sale. If a collector wants to own one how exactly does that work?
Laib: He buys three jars of pollen and it’s his choice of keeping it in the jar or to get rid of his furniture and spread it out on the floor.
Ottmann: Would you go to his home and do that?
Laib: Yes, but of course I would be even happier if he would do it himself.
Some critics of the work are concerned with Laib’s “waste” of natural materials. This is not a concern for Laib, who, although he works with natural materials, does not consider himself a naturalist. It’s important to remember that the pollen is gathered by hand over a long period of time, not mass harvested, denuding the environment in one obscene swoop. From concept to exhibition, every aspect of Laib’s work displays patience, precision, and peace.
Read more about Wolfgang Laib on PBS’s wonderful Art21 website and look out for his episode airing soon!
Elijah Burgher. Courtesy of Western Exhibitions (aka Scott Speh Gallery), Chicago
Nicholas Nyland. Courtesy of Prole Drift, Seattle
Dana Schutz. Courtesy of Friedrich Petzel Gallery, New York City
I put together my first selection of Forty Galleries You Should Know if You Love Paint in 2012. As with everything in life, a lot has changed in the art world over the past two years. Some of my favorite galleries have closed, including Harris Lieberman in New York City and the legendary Daniel Weinberg Gallery in Los Angeles, while some younger galleries have either suddenly appeared or have developed their programming in truly noteworthy ways.
Of all the changes since 2012, the most difficult has been the recent loss of the visionary and beloved New York art dealer who simply went by the name Hudson. His gallery, Feature, Inc., has been a critical part of the city’s frenetic art scene since the mid-1980s. Hudson brought early exposure to dozens of important artists, including Alexander Ross and Tom Friedman. In the past few years, his championing of mid-career artists such as Andrew Masullo and David Deutsch helped bring their work much-deserved attention. While Hudson will long be remembered for his impact on the art world, it is his quiet intelligence and gentle spirit that I will miss the most. There is no word yet as to what will become of Feature, Inc. – Steven Zevitas, Publisher New American Paintings
Steven Zevitas founded New American Paintings magazine in 1994 as a vehicle for providing promising emerging artists with international exposure. Working closely with museum curators, New American Paintings reviews the work of thousands of artists each year. Forty artists are selected to appear in each bi-monthly edition, many of whom go on to receive substantial critical and commercial success. Additional magazine content focuses on the medium of painting, those who influence its direction, and the role painting plays within the wider contemporary art world. Visit New American Paintings for more information or to subscribe.