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July 27, 2013

Book review part one and six degrees of separation.



If I ever teach painting again, I'd recommend Eric Fischl's memoir Bad Boy as a way of introducing how the current discourse on painting and conceptual art evolved.

And then I'd wait for a student to complain that I was making them read a seminal essay about painting.* [Rim shot.]

I'd like to refrain from calling it a split between conceptual art and hands-on art-making because I believe the two can overlap in the right hands, but this is where Fischl's account of his undergraduate and teaching experience puts both of these camps into a better perspective. I can't provide a full review yet, but so far the book not only lays out Fischl's history of finding himself as an artist, but it also provides a lucid account on why academia continues to have a split-personality when it comes to implementing an undergraduate curriculum (and ultimately how that split infiltrates the surrounding community.) For anyone who's had to "defend" painting, even passively, there's a shared sense of camaraderie that's bound to be lost on today's students, some fellow painters and possibly even faculty today. More later, but I'm highly recommending it as a must-read.

As for the six degrees of separation- years ago as young artists just out of school, my friend Margaret and I painted the interior of his ex-wife's house in Chicago. After the job was done, we all shared a moment as one of his paintings was hung back on our newly painted wall.



*true story

July 24, 2013

MOCA, Post-Deitch.

Christopher Knight's analysis of the MOCA-Deitch affair is concise and to the point.

"Deitch's unfolding artistic program was regularly mischaracterized as celebrity-oriented and blandly populist, thanks to his indulgence in mostly wan exhibitions related to actors Dennis Hopper and James Franco, Hollywood tabloid photographer Weegee, iconic filmmaker Kenneth Anger, pop musician Mike D and, most of all, Andy Warhol and several of the late Pop artist's progeny.

Instead, his program is better described as simply representing a belief that art culture and popular culture have merged, becoming one and the same."
And then there's the little ethical snag of being an avid collector and a museum director, among other mismatches. 
Full article here.
Jeffrey Deitch's background as a gallery owner brought early criticism of his selection three years ago. (Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times / January 11, 2010)

July 23, 2013

Chillaxing with the dark side

I usually try and stave off the postpartum show depression until AFTER the show, but it's always good to be prepared a month or two in advance, so here I sit drumming up worst-case scenarios such as no one showing up at either opening. Which would be a damn shame because in addition to an amazing body of work, I found a variegated dress my mom knit in the 70's that will be perfect to wear. Other variations of angst include thinking I could have worked even more on the paintings, detailing them into infinity, or adding another 20 layers containing shifts of hue so subtle that only the highly perceptive will notice. This is what happens when you have perfectionist issues and work alone. There's always some detail that could be tweaked. Always. And then there's the 'What's next?' issue to contend with. Now what? What's next? Are we there yet? For a process-based painter, I can get pretty wrapped up in anticipating the Next Big Thing. Ironic, no? Not as ironic as the chick texting during meditation practice last night, but close.

Meanwhile, here is a sneak peek of one of the paintings that will be in the show, Shell Game, opening August 24th at Tinney Contemporary with the opening reception on Saturday September 7th. 
Mary Addison Hackett, Spin, 2013
acrylic on canvas over panel
30 x 22 inches





July 13, 2013

Summer update.

Two solo shows open in less than two months: Le Rayon Vert and Shell Game
I'd like to complete 2 more paintings. one each, but I'm also in the middle of documenting, titling and writing. I successfully worked in oil for one show and acrylic for the other without  any serious malfunctions. Only once did I dip my brush into my coffee cup. And only once did I swirl my oil brush in water. I had 2 major spills of fluorescent paint. One led to a new painting, so it worked out. 

I discovered the dog not only herds rocks, but seashells. It was a shocking discovery to see the collection scattered on the floor. They were doing fine on the coffee table. Or at least I thought so. But I'm not a German shepherd border collie mix.

Kitchen Paintings (#Drifters) will be part of Le Rayon Vert. They are small. I'm only about 4 brush sizes and a magnifying glass away from caving in to my desire to be a miniaturist, but I am not there. Yet... 

July 10, 2013

Small things about to happen....

Drum roll:
I'm getting ready to reopen the Smaller Works blog with riveting new works. You can read more about it over there at 
*Smaller Works presents*