Monday, February 28, 2011

Kai Althoff in New York

Kai Althoff, Untitled (Kibbutzim), 2008-2009,
at Gladstone Gallery, New York.
Copyright Kai Althoff, courtesy Gladstone Gallery, New York

Untitled, 2007
Oil, lacquer, tempera and poster on cloth;
38 3/4 x 32 1/2 x 1 5/8 inches (98.4 x 82.6 x 4.1 cm)

Untitled, 2007
Acrylic, oil and dispersion on cloth;
39 1/2 x 33 1/2 x 1 inches (100.3 x 85.1 x 2.5 cm)

Here's an excellent description of the new exhibition by this German Neo Expressionist artist at Gladstone Gallery New York. I have fallen in love with this artist and keep re-discovering his paintingsas an example of many of the elements I am trying to teach my students. However, until now, in my isolation in the land down under, I didn't know that he was also an installation and video artist, let alone a sculptor. I must admit from some of these photos in the New York review in Artnet by Elisabeth Kley that he may also NOT be a sculptor (in my view) and I am not sure that New York is receiving the best of his work. However, I have not seen this exhibition and I am sure that the experience of the environment he has created would be far better than portrayed in these small photographs.
However, if you don't know his paintings, it's worth your while to go on a safari - you'll be well rewarded.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Getting my Mojo Back

Image: Gabrielle Jones, Slide, 2011 Charcoal, 70 x 100cm

Ok - so I'm proud of this one. Hope you like it too. It took me about three days to complete - the process is getting quicker. I have re- discovered a beautiful pencil which is the combination of charcoal and graphite and which works well as the positional drawing. I am feeling more comfortable with the medium and subjects - less like torture!- and remembering the sensuality of charcoal. I lost my touch - after a particularly harrowing year at art school which turned me off drawing for years to come - a little like aversion therapy was practiced by my then teacher, and many of us got the shakes just thinking of drawing in subsequent years (let alone the teacher!)
So...I'm gettin' my mojo back.... It's the last in the series (I think) as I am itching to get back into painting (alleluia! It's taken its time). The paintings will be based on these drawings and the work I have been toying with for about a year now (related to my Goulburn show). Wish me luck!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Charcoals continue

Image: Gabrielle Jones, "Reach" 2011, Charcoal

Another instalment of the Charcoal drawings. I think I overworked it, but it looks better at scale and in the flesh, and in the group.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Painter of the week-ish: Steve Roden

Image: Steve Roden
one mountain of found breath
size: 38" x 46"
media: oil, acrylic, on linen

Image: Steve Roden
size: 36" x 48"
media: oil, acrylic, enamel, on linen

Image: Steve Roden, the brevity of resonant drifting
size: 36 " x 44"
media: oil, acrylic, on linen

I have been looking afar at paintings and also, making connections with a few more American artists. I have thus discovered some wonderful painters that my Australian readers may not know about, and which are even lesser known souls to those who gander from the great US of A.
Steve Roden is one of these.

I love his use of colour, acid and nucleic as it is, along with shabby scratchings of paint reminiscent of graffiti, which seems appropriate on these post-Space age structures, looking like Frank Gehry on steroids. Oh, if only these structures could be built! And even more beautiful is the fact that such imaginitive forms emanate from the beautiful music of Debussy, a Boroque composer of twisting soaring heights and romantic undertones.

Steve's Artists statement: "I began this series of works in early 2005, using various self made systems of translating a single line of a classical music into a series of formal decisions and rules. Depending on the amount of notes in each line of music, each painting involved between 60 and 130 notes; which then translated into the same number of decisions and actions. Of course, there are also a lot of intutive movements in response to the pre-detemined decisions.

The score, which i found in my grandmother's garage many years ago, has 96 lines. Over the next year or two i hope to create a single work for every line, and thus playing the entire score in various visual forms. These are not visualized music, nor an attempt to capture sound in image. They are works birthed from an intimate engagement with a language i cannot read properly - and like a performance of music, they have been determined by a reading of a musical score.

Along with the musical score, a number of other influences have found more intuitive ways into the works, including a 2005 visit to Corbusier's chapel at Ronchamp, Rudolf Steiner's Goetheanum and his writings on architecture, a book on music at the Paris Exhibition of 1889, Giuseppe Terrangi's Danteum, Alexander Graham Bell's kites, Myron Stout's writings, and Alvaro Sza's Serpentine Gallery Pavillion."

How cool is that? (and I hope I get to Ronchamp one day, too!)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

He said it All

" I certainly hope to sell in the course of time, but I think I shall be able to influence it most effectively by working steadily on, and that at the present moment making desperate efforts to force the work I am doing now upon the public would be pretty useless". Vincent Van Gogh

"My opinion is that the best thing would be to work on till art lovers feel drawn toward it of their own accord, instead of having to praise or to explain it."

Been making more work - think I'll follow Vincent's advice


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