February 26, 2013

Follow up.

Thanks to a to-the-point Critic's Pick in the Nashville Scene, we had a great turnout for the opening. The gallery is open by appointment for the duration of the show with somewhat regular hours during the week.

Still Lifes, Landscapes and Posers 

When: Sat., Feb. 23 2013
One of the most consistent complaints I hear about Nashville’s art scene is its lack of a strong painterly backbone. Maybe that’s why it’s not surprising that one of the most expansive exhibits of contemporary painting in Nashville is opening at Threesquared, a relatively crude gallery inside artist Dane Carder’s studio, and not one of our more traditional white-box spaces. Thank God Mary Addison Hackett has the gumption to organize and curate such a thing. The Nashville-based painter and Watkins instructor has brought paintings by Cole Case, Carla Knopp, Steven LaRose, Nomi Lubin and Gregory Martin from all four corners of the country, and her relationship to each of them is based on shared sensibilities, a respect for the process of painting, and the depth that each artist brings to the table.
— Laura Hutson

Thanks to the everyone who came out and especially Carla and Gregory who were able to come in town for the show, and of course, Dane Carder and threesquared.

February 20, 2013

Moving images.

Here is the teaser video that Dane at threesquared shot and put together for the Still Lifes, Landscapes, and Posers that opens this weekend. I worked above the line on this one.

February 17, 2013

"Still Lifes, Landscapes, and Posers" Press Release

Saturday Feb 23, 6-9 pm.
427 Chestnut St.
Nashville, TN

clockwise: Gregory Martin, Steven LaRose, Cole Case, Mary Addison Hackett, Carla, Knopp, Nomi Lubin 
In "Still Lifes, Landscapes, and Posers", artist and guest curator, Mary Addison Hackett brings together six painters from across the country whose use of deceptively simple subject matter reveals itself to be more complex than it first appears. Her relationship to each of these painters is based on a dialogue of shared sensibilities and a respect for the process of painting and depth that each artist brings to the table.

For COLE Case (Los Angeles), landscape, water, and flowers provide a perfect mirror for the human psyche and for hundreds of years have served to reflect our obsession with beauty, mortality, brevity or fear. Case begins his process by creating small ballpoint pen and wash drawings on site. Intuitively traveling to locations throughout Southern California, Case has found the extraordinary in the familiar: cement river beds, high desert landscape, or sunflowers arranged in left over plastic water bottles. Different from the Impressionists and California Plein Air painters who made their paintings on site, Case later incorporates iPhone and iPad app technology to isolate and match specific color elements before transforming the drawings into large paintings. 
In addition to solo shows at Western Project in Los Angeles, Cole was recently included in The Painted Desert at the Lancaster Museum of Art and History, curated by Andi Campognone, and Underground Pop at the Parrish Art Museum in Southampton, New York, curated by critic, David Pagel. He has shown at Howard House (Seattle, Washington); University of California Irvine, (Irvine, California); and the Luckman Gallery at California State University, (Los Angeles), among other venues. He received a BA in English Literature from Stanford University and a BFA in Fine Art from the Art Center College of Design. 

MARY ADDISON Hackett (Nashville) varies her approach to painting by constructing a visual language from fragments of stored information, as well as working perceptually from direct observation. Her self-portraits and still lifes are part of a larger body of work documenting day-to -day life and the improbable task of capturing everything that filters through it. Referencing sources ranging from Camus’s doctor in The Plague, to a footnote written by19th century art critic, John Ruskin, Hackett uses the language of painting to address the ever-shifting construction of meaning, memory, and representation.
Mary Addison was a Los Angeles based painter before returning to Nashville for an extended residency in 2010. She was recently included in About Face, curated by Daniel Weinberg at ACME. in Los Angeles, and To Live and Paint in LA at the Torrance Art Museum in Torrance, California, curated by Max Presneill. Solo and group exhibitions include Kristi Engle Gallery (Los Angeles, CA); John Davis Gallery (Hudson, NY); Weekend (Los Angeles, CA); SUGAR (Brooklyn, NY); and the Amelia Museum of Archeology, (Umbria, Italy), among others. She holds an MFA from The University of Illinois at Chicago and a BFA from The University of Tennessee. She publishes the art blog, Process, and currently teaches part-time at Watkins College of Art, Design and Film. 

CARLA Knopp (Indianapolis, IN) describes her painting practice as exploratory. She seeks artistic revelation from both personal expressionism and from formal experimentation. These two impulses guide her investigations, and form a body of work which ranges from mystical realism to abstraction. Knopp’s Lane Marker series are loosely constructed on the subjective and pictorial theme of marked territories. By using the qualities inherent in metallic paint to create a visual conundrum both literally and metaphorically, Knopp creates optically challenging landscapes that can be read as both an invitation or a warning. 
Carla holds a BFA from Herron School of Art, Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis. She has worked as a studio artist for 25 years, showing her work in both juried and invitational exhibitions including the Harrison Gallery, Indianapolis; Russell/Projects in Richmond, VA; Silas Marder Gallery, Bridgehampton, NY; and Sugar, Bushwick, NY. She runs Dewclaw, an artist run space in Indianapolis and hosts a blog called Rocktown, Indiana.

STEVEN LaRose (Talent, OR) traces his complicated relationship with the human figure and representation back to an early interest in comics. While LaRose’s main body of work veers toward the abstract and amorphous, a successful Kickstarter campaign allows him to host a weekly drawing and painting session, free for the public, in his studio with a nude model. In turn, these sessions spent with the figure serve as a source for his subsequent abstraction. 
Steven received his MFA from the Claremont Graduate University, and his BFA from Whitman College. He has had solo exhibitions in Seattle, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Ashland, Oregon. His work has been discussed in the Los Angeles Times, ARTnews, The New Art Examiner, and The Chicago Tribune. In addition to teaching at Southern Oregon University and Rogue Community College in Oregon, he offers free figure drawing sessions to the community through his project, AnyOne Can Draw. 

NOMI Lubin (New Haven, CT) uses the personal and familiar to document a scene which reveals subtle nuances upon each viewing. Asking more questions than they answer, her paintings made from looking out the window of her childhood bedroom allow the viewer to shift focus between the interior and the exterior in a kind of figure-ground paradox. By imposing both structure and boundary where she sets about to create each window paintings in one session, she strives to translate a temporal experience.
Nomi has shown at Verge Art Brooklyn, Herron School of Art and Design in Indianapolis, Winonna State University in Minnosota, and the Bowery Gallery in New York among others. She completed her studies in painting at The New York Studio School and holds a BA in English from Southern Connecticut University. 

GREGORY Martin (Starkville, MS) is a California native whose work explores the relationship between human ideals and practice. Citing growth and decay, the illusion of depth and flatness, the “truth” of photography along with the “fiction” of painting, Martin’s landscapes become contemplative spaces in which to experience dualities and polarities within human nature, the natural world and the practice of painting.
Gregory studied visual art at CSU Long Beach and Claremont Graduate University where he received his MFA in Painting in 2002. Solo and group exhibitions include the Museum of Art & History, (Lancaster, CA); Electric Lodge, (Venice, CA); George Billis Gallery, (Culver City, CA); Ruth Bachofner Gallery, (Santa Monica, CA), and most recently, McComas Gallery at Mississippi State University where he is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Art. 

The opening party will be held Saturday, February 23rd from 6 to 9 pm. Wine and light refreshments will be served. Parking is free.

February 09, 2013

fumbling in the dark

First off, does anyone actually blog anymore? I feel early Millennial by writing blog posts. Or that I'm too naive to be too busy or too important to blog. Then there's the privacy issue.

I accidentally joined ArtStack without thinking it through. Only after joining as a person did I realize that a profile had already been established for me as an artist, complements of ArtStack. I'm not necessarily against random sites picking up my art and using it to promote their services but as soon as MAH the person signed up, I was automatically assigned to follow 60 people, 50 of whom I have no idea who they are.  It was like being pushed onto a dance floor.

But back to real life. It's 8:04. There's a baked potato in the microwave. My potato will be shriveled by the time I make it back to the kitchen. I snacked on raw almonds and drank hot tea + an expresso today. Yesterday I spent 7 hours in the studio painting and unpainting a moderately large canvas. At the end of 7 hours I had a what looked to be some vague brushstokes and muted OMS washes. In reality, it represented 7 hours of indecisiveness.
1. enlarging a sketch of the kitchen
2. dumb brushstokes and OMS wash wipeouts
1. perceptual still life of Morandi-esque looking arrangement of cream colored vases across the room, which I specifically bought at a yard sale because I like the creamy color and because they reminded me of Morandi
1. dumb brushstokes and OMS wash wipeouts
1. back to enlarging the sketch of the kitchen 
1. dumb brushstokes and OMS wash wipeouts
1. a  different vase
1. dumb brushstokes and OMS wash wipeouts
1. perceptual still life of Morandi-esque looking cream colored vase.
1. dumb brushstokes and OMS wash wipeouts
1. the kitchen
1. the different vase again
1. dumb brushstokes and OMS wash wipeouts
1. a final defiant stroke.

Today, I finally settled on a musical teapot. It plays "Tea for Two" whenever you pour. The teapot is just a starting point. I don't think any painter worth their weight in cobalt would admit to having a 24/7/365 seamless day in the studio, but in case you are one of those people who everything goes totally planned in the studio every single day, I'll assume you are a machine, a soulless little machine.

It's hard to define how one could work 10 hours simultaneously knowing, not knowing, wanting, but not wanting- to paint a thing, but not a thing, to paint something that is not verbal, but yet articulate- without resorting to total abstraction or the cloyingly pat, and still be excited about getting back in the studio to continue this process, but session after session, this is what I do. I was reminded today, again, not to concern myself with labels and to paint what I like.

I had a strange calmness come over me as I was working on some details, which I will admit at this stage is way too soon to work on details, but I'm busting out a bit. The teapot is just the starting point.

“Do you believe in God, doctor?"
No - but what does that really mean? I'm fumbling in the dark, struggling to make something out. But I've long ceased finding that original.” -Albert Camus, The Plague

February 04, 2013

Los Angeles: MAS ATTACK recap.

I rue the day I thought all snapshots were created equal. I'm sparing everyone crappy iPhone photos of art. While I snapped a photo representing almost every single painter in the show, I did not write everyone's name down. My current project is to put names with paintings.

The painting community in Los Angeles rocks. Where else can you invite 12,000 people to an exhibition, have over 1000+ show up, and get to meet and gush for 5 hours without putting on your best art fair behaviour or jockeying for attention? Nada. Case in point, MAS ATTACK, a one night event with 101 amazing painters on the wall, plus more great painters in the crowd. The Artra Curatorial team of Max Presneill, Kio Griffth and Colten Stenke orchestrated the mammoth exhibition. It's a shot in the paint arm to hear artists you like and respect gush over your work every so often. Likewise, I gushed over other artists' work. Of course, it was a show of the Mutual Appreciation Society, so gushing was considered totally appropriate, but it was also a testament to the state of painting in LA. I am grateful to still be a part of that community- not just for the gushing of course, but because of the resilience and support I've experienced over the years, which in turn I hope I pass on in some way.

On the trip home, I tried to recollect names of everyone who stopped by to say hello or who ran into or met for the first time. 52 conversations and counting. I don't think I've even spoken to 52 people since doing my extended residency here. 52 might not sound like a big number out of 1000, but considering I am an introvert, it's huge. Apparently I might also be slightly obsessive since making a list of people I'd like to stay in touch with was on my list of things to do.


My wall of suitcase paintings at MAS ATTACK.
Photo by Sarajo Frieden

My friend, Meg, helped me come up with the idea of the extended residency so as not to dredge up the usual dreary reply to, "Why did you move to ________?" The extended residency is a great answer. I completed the above paintings during my extended residency. I am here painting the (light, foliage, decay, place, architecture, objects, furniture, self, ad infinitum) during my extended residency. When I am done painting the (light, foliage, decay, place, architecture, objects, furniture, self, ad infinitum,) I will return. It's more believable than the story about my spaceship breaking down. Depending on who you ask. What can I say? My roots here are 6 feet under. I'm finally admitting that I am an expat trying to make my way back to my adopted city. And yet, it's much harder than that. Hence, the extended residency.

Speaking of spaceships and the supernatural, the Kubrick exhibition features one of John McCracken's Planks, despite the fact that it was not an actual McCracken sculpture in 2001: A Space Odyssey. If you're not familiar with McCracken, the obit by Jerry Saltz  is a nice sendoff to the artist who saw his leaning planks as a conceptual link between two worlds.   

It rained. Most of the time.

The super beautiful people still shop at Whole Foods in Venice. There was a traffic cop directing people into parking spaces. I saw a gorgeous vintage Porsche. Flowers were $22 a bunch.

The ocean looked sad on an overcast day. Sales ladies on Main Street are psycho. Parking is easy.

I tried to schedule 4 studio visits, but due to time constraints, only got in one visit. Had coffee and/or breakfast with about 5 people. Bonus: While waiting for a friend at Urth Cafe, I ran into my former yoga instructor on a Friday and got in a yoga class on Saturday. Bonus #2: On the way out of class, a woman called out my name and it turned out to be another artist who I've been swapping show announcements with for years. LA is crazy small. Westside, baby.

Moments after departing from coffee with a fellow painter, I received this text highlighting our conversation:
I like pithy advice. Text on. 

Later, the conversation went like this:
It was not the best photo of me. 

My friend, Rochelle and I went to Caravaggio and Kubrick at LACMA. We took tourist photos of The Rock. I'm not posting those out of respect to Rochelle and Japanese tourists everywhere, but I laughed so hard I cried.
Meanwhile, back at The Overlook...