Friday, October 31, 2008

Unbreak My Heart: Luke Whitlatch.

This guy isn't afraid of beauty, or what we might find inside it.

Unbreak My Heart Press release . . .
Luke Whitlatch: This is my across-a-crowded-room choice for the show. I went to see a jammed and lively group show of drawings at Daniel Weinberg Gallery a few summers ago in LA, and amidst the Ed Ruscha's, Lee Bontecou's, and Dan Zeller's it was a small drawing by Whitlatch that pulled me in and held me close. When I saw a couple of his paintings at the LA Art Fair here in NYC the next year I officially became a fan. This summer Luke had a piece in a group show at Rivington Arms and that cemented the deal.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Unbreak My Heart: Rosanna Bruno.

Rosanna Bruno knocked me the hell out when I visited her studio a couple years ago. Her larger paintings were the first thing I thought of when I was asked to curate this show. In a tidy little circle, Rosanna had some of her smaller but also-mighty paintings in the inaugural show at PLUTO, the Nicole Eisenman-curated Norf*ckneasters.

Unbreak My Heart Press release . . .
Rosanna Bruno: Very physical work. Sometimes it rips my head off right away and sometimes it takes awhile, consuming me slowly. I'll be standing in front of a painting and then suddenly I'm all, like, "Da-amn. Where is my head?" Her swaths aren't grand, sweeping gestures of the brush though. They're finely tuned vortices of color, line, and space. Enter here.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Unbreak My Heart: Kate Gilmore.

How perfect. When Unbreak My Heart opens on November 1, it'll be one day shy of 2 years since I posted my first big rave about Kate Gilmore's work. What a kick.

Unbreak My Heart Press release . . .
Kate Gilmore: Kate was an easy choice. If I do a studio visit with you and your work makes me cry, well then, if I I curate a show a couple years later I'm probably going to ask you to be in it. The video Heartbreaker is from 2004, but I couldn't pass up the irony of having it in the show. I mean, the artist takes an axe to a heart made out of lumber. In the destruction of her heart, she makes mine a little less broken. It's a weirdly triumphant act for both the artist and the viewer. Kate is the one artist for whom I put aside my self-imposed no-artists-with-representation rule. Big ups to Amy Smith-Stewart.

Monday, October 27, 2008


Unbreak My Heart: Robert Schatz.

From the Unbreak My Heart Press release . . .
Robert Schatz: I've known Bob for years now, but I didn't see the swoopy and swirly goodness of his paintings until last year's show at The Phatory in Alphabet City. His intuitive and (literally) hands-on approach to the materials is a move towards nature, but it's his mad grasp of technique and composition that brings it home to the rest of us.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Rope Tightens. The Branch Is Weak.

Whoa. An entire genre that feels like an endgame, and after 3-4 years you'd think it would lose some steam. Yeah. Well, not so much. This new Shackleton release pretty much proves that. And my man, DH is right. When the hell is somebody gonna ask one of these guys about Muslimgauze.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Unbreak My Heart: EJ Hauser.

Crew Man

EJ Hauser, man. The moment we figured out her wall, Bongwater came onto her iPod shuffle. A blessing from Ann Magnuson. That's all you need.

Unbreak My Heart Press release . . .
EJ Hauser: Whew! I was unfamiliar with EJ Hauser's work before artist Sarah Peters introduced me to it. (Thank you, Sarah.) Abstracts, not-quite-abstracts, and text paintings make up her three-pronged attack. The lines she develops in the text paintings are so strong you can forget the text, but I'd recommend against that. There's too much fun to be had therein. Killer stuff all around, actually. Beauty can be hard. Beauty can be delicious. In EJ's work it's both.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Unbreak My Heart: Beth Gilfilen.

I had asked two artists for recommendations and BOTH of them told me I needed to check out Beth Gilfilen's work. Yep. They were right. Knockout stuff.

Unbreak My Heart Press release . . .

Beth Gilfilen: The two paintings we chose for the show are awesome gestures of texture and space-building on their own, but side-by-side they sing harmony like Gary Louris and Lucinda Williams on Williams' song, Essence. The dominance shifts back and forth between the voices and sometimes they share the middle. In one painting the color and action fills the canvas, and in the other Gilfilen let's the white space fly. Back and forth they go, making me wonder who's in charge.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Unbreak My Heart.

OK. So, in the next week or so I'm going to feature the artists in the show I've curated, Unbreak My Heart (Opening on SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 1st. OMG. SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 1st!). And away we go . . .

Press release:
Bad shit happens, like, constantly. Quite frankly, I'm surprised we all aren't in cardiac arrest by the time we're 8. I'm not tipping you to anything new by pointing out that most of us make it past childhood, grow up, and drag our "long black bag" of heartbreak along for the ride. There are plenty of ways to lighten the burden though, and one of them is to look at art. (Therapy also helps. LOTS of therapy.) Every once in awhile I'll come across art that reverses the damage done, at least a little bit. I knew when I was offered this show that I wanted to include artists who have provided me with those moments of "unbreaking". You know how it works. The world slows down and you can almost feel the shards coming back together (Blondie style), the sinewy shreds of tissue reconnecting (David Lynch style). We just have to keep our eyes open and our hearts on the block. It's gonna be alright. At least for this moment.

One Last Look.

And what was I doing in the bad corn maze (Sorry, but 38th Ave. and 13th St. a block away from 21st St.? WTF?) that is Queens? Doing another studio visit with Rosanna Bruno, of course. We were looking at this new painting to see if it would work in the show I'm curating. Turns out that it wasn't quite going to fit right, but that doesn't mean it's not an amazing painting. It really bats the viewer around. Pulling you in in one place and pushing you away in another while another spot is pulling you back in before you get too far away. A really interesting turn, this one.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

BREAKING: Palin's "Real America" Kinda Looks Like a Jeremy Gilbert-Rolfe Painting.

Graph by FiveThirtyEight
Painting, Leopard, by Jeremy Gilbert-Rolfe.

All kidding aside, I love Jeremy Gilbert-Rolfe's work. But you already knew that.


Eileen Neff has a new show, The Key of Dreams, at Silverstein on 20th. I stopped by to check this out today. No surprise that it was fabulous, but a the real thrill was the inclusion of, Slipping Glimpse, my absolute favorite piece from Neff's show at the ICA last year.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The last night last night.

Totally amazing images by Cesar Llacuna, copyright 2008. Dig it. And be sure to click on the images to make them pop.


Apparently it's architecture week here at HAA. The Cathedral of Learning on the University of Pittsburgh campus is a building I love both outside and in. This looks a bit over the top, but I think I like the goofy insanity of the way German design duo Friedrich Foerster and Sabine Weissinger lit this puppy up.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Monday, October 13, 2008


Two stunning new tapes out now from Period Tapes. These Feathers Have Plumes' supple gold-on-red silkscreened cover contains a nice slow drone. The line it draws is that of an unstable zither, but without the instrument. God only knows what they used to make this crawling slab. It doesn't matter. This is the wonderstuff. The lines are a lot less straight on Stone Baby's Nobody Loves Me . . . Still. It sounds like the haunted boiler room in the basement of the Brill Building. Disembodied voices fade in and out of the creeping, broken rhythms. And that baby doll on the cover . . . illin'. THIS is your soundtrack for Halloween. Truly scary.

My Ass-Kicking Building In The Times.

For the architecture lovers out there . . . Architectural Wealth, Built for the Poor. Hello, Alfred Tredway White.

Just Grand.

Beka Goedde, Nearby here, nearby

I received some excellent news from Glowlab last night. They're moving to Grand Street in SoHo! I went off on their goodness awhile ago here. I was poking around the website and came across some amazing images by Beka Goedde. Hello there. I have to say, I'm a sucker for gouache. Must. See. Live.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Title Change.

Not art, but odd. I like the first version of the title better. (badly cropped screen grabs via moi) From the NYTimes online front page . . .

8:23 PM

8:44 PM

No Cock In China.

Photograph courtesy of Zoe Strauss.
Clampdown courtesy of China.

It ain't 2005 or 2017 so there's no cock in China. Zoe Strauss' AMERICA got censored at the Chinese printer because of all those scary penises. And now, she's talkin' about it.

Robert Bordo's it's always raining: Last Day To See One Of The Best Shows Of The Year.

Like I said, the Robert Bordo show show at Alexander and Bonin should be seen and not written about. It's that whole "to name it is to make it less" sentinment. Which, I know, is goofy, but everything I've read about it fails to capture the extreme goodness therein--including this review in The Brooklyn Rail by Cassandra Neyenesch. The work just feels so personal. And TODAY IS THE LAST DAY TO SEE IT. So, kids . . . Go see it. It's one of my favorite shows of the year. I've seen it three times, and I might just go back today.

Some close-ups . . .

What Genius Does.

This is what it does. Writes amazing appreciations in The New Yorker about Karlheinz Stockhausen. Genius.

I've been thinking about this too.

This, I mean. Forget Heart. I've been waiting for McCain's sad vagina trick to start playing Bilskirnir at her rallies.


Last weekend. Neil Campbell's show at Marianne Boesky. Stopped by for one last look. Um, not so much. What a drag. What a great piece. Sigh. All gone now. Somebody needs to buy this and make it permanently available for public viewing.

Don't take my word for it's great goodness though. Jerry Saltz nailed it. Nailed it, I say. One last look back, because, well, it was such a good piece it's even fun to remember. Anyway . . .

By rights, another gallery show that opened in Chelsea those first nights should be as irksome, dull, and derivative as Serrano’s and Attie’s. Yet, except for one terrible clunker of a metal sculpture, Neil Campbell’s show is rivetingly mysterious. Campbell paints black blips, circles, and other shapes on the wall. That’s it. But his pitch-perfect way of blending architecture, placement on the wall, size, and edges produces retinal and phenomenological power. Two black ovals painted at solar-plexus height make the room go rubbery and space wobble. The wall seems to disappear as you imagine you’re looking through the gallery into a parallel universe of dark matter. A nearby grid of dots is like a Mondrian in space. The black and yellow circles make one aware of the inconsistencies of vision, the little ghosts, floaters, and halos that form when one looks intently at something. This piece doesn’t stop popping.

Campbell is revisiting older ideas and artists, and shades of Lawrence Weiner, James Turrell, Robert Irwin, and Bridget Riley hang over this mesmerizing outing. But so does the spirit of something deeply committed, convincing, and felt. Campbell’s show demonstrates that if you see only one good thing in a day of viewing, you’ve had a good day. That’s how strong powerful art is.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Space Available.

Last weekend I ran into Patty Harris on 6th Avenue when I was taking in my Rega for repairs. I raved about her work back in 2006. She's in the MFA program at Queens College and Gallery 151 is putting on a guerilla show with the crew on West 18th Street. It opens on Friday night. This should be fun.

Patty Harris

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Accidents Will Happen.

Click the image to blow up the pdf. A match made in delapidated heaven.

Steve Flanagan, painting

Kristin Holcomb, photograph