October 27, 2014

What's shaking.

And speaking of what on my mind, in a new column over at Two Coats of Paint, Sharon Butler invited me to contribute a list of things I've been thinking about lately. The current work spans the better part of a year and "lately" is key to this particular list. Enjoy.

October 22, 2014

9:53 AM  Sharon Butler  
I have followed Mary Addison Hackett’s blog Process since she left LA a few years ago and returned to Nashville where her mother was in the hospital. Unfortunately, as Hackett drove across country, she received word that her mother had died. Since then, Hackett has been dividing her time between LA and Nashville, where she lives and works in her childhood home, sifting through family images and objects. Over the years, the gracious home has gradually evolved from the house she grew up in, to a sprawling artist’s studio with paintings, easels, palettes and other evidence of her robust painting practice filling every room.
For the second installment of the “Ideas and Influences” column, I asked Hackett to put together a list of things she’s been thinking about. Her solo exhibition “Crazy Eyes" is on view at David Lusk Gallery in Nashville through November 8. 
[Image at top: Mary Addison Hackett, Seashells, 2014, oil on canvas, 52 x 44 inches.]
1. Stuff and maintenance. The physical stuff. The George Carlin monologue about “Stuff,” stuff. The stuff we maintain and why we maintain it.  
2. Essays by Rebecca Solnit—memory, our perceptions of place and identity. 
3. Camping: a minimalist, transient space for leisure, domestic, and work activity. 
4. Wanderlust, disjointed narratives, and small gestures. While looking through inherited family photographs, I became slightly obsessed with vernacular photography and began collecting found photographs (images above). I’m still fine-tuning my eye for specifics, but I’ve noticed how the need to create a shared narrative with a stranger’s life is almost compulsory and that some of the most interesting narratives happen on the edge of the frame. 
5. Vision and focus— metaphorically and literally. 
6. Sophie Calle’s piece Exquisite Pain. In brief, a Exquisite Pain is a project that began as one thing and,  due to the ending of a relationship, transformed into another. Calle didn’t exhibit the piece until 15 years later, at which point she deemed the breakup “banal.” It’s much more complex than this brief description, but everything about Calle’s piece speaks to me.
7. The night sky, constellations, satellites and flight patterns. (This grouping is attached to wanderlust.) 
8. Susan SontagRoland Barthes (again). After painting from direct observation and pretending I’m kino-eye I’ve been looking back to my own history with the camera and painting. 
9. Document. Documentary. 
10. Art without ego. 
11. Queued up in my virtual reading room: Dylan Thomas, Adventures in the Skin Trade
12. On any given day, I could pack one more item in this list.
Mary Addison Hackett, Hotel Soap, 2013, oil on canvas, 50 x 38 1/2 inches.
Mary Addison Hackett, The Democratic Forest, 2014, oil on canvas, 66 x 56 inches.
Mary Addison Hackett, Pistol Shells, 2013-14, oil on canvas, 24 x18 inches.
Mary Addison Hackett: Crazy Eyes,” David Lusk, Nashville, TN. Through November 8, 2014. For readers in the Nashville area: Hackett will be giving an Artist’s Talk at the gallery on November 6 at 6pm.
[reposted from Two Coats of Paint]

October 25, 2014

Gratitude List:

Unknown, Signal Point. Personal collection.
  1. They are no longer serving pumpkin flavored coffee at Trader Joe's. 
  2. They've run out of pumpkin flavored toaster pastries at Trader Joe's. 
  3. Root vegetables. After a month of pumpkin flavored toaster pastries, I'm eating roasted beets and carrots for breakfast and dinner. With this much fiber, who need lunch? 
  4. A friend I met in Los Angeles about 10 years ago serendipitously called me the other day and offered a suggestion or two while I was trying to pretend like everything was just fine. 
  5. Press and reviews. I know, technically this isn't something to be grateful for since it sounds rather attention-seeking, so gratitude might not be the right word, but I am grateful that I showed up to the easel every day—no matter what kind of colossal and irrelevant crap was looming in my head– and competed a body of work I feel good about and that some people have responded to the work.  The show has been hanging at the gallery for 2 weeks now. I haven't had the chance to view the work in solitude in a distraction-free, white cube space with decent lighting, aka, the gallery. I should make a point to do that next week. It's a Rothko thing. Chapel, up next. Ommm. 
  6. Friends and people I call family. 
  7. The dog. 
  8. Roof over my head. 
  9. The past, seriously. My life would have been boring without it, but I'm grateful it's the past. *I mean this in the best possible way. No one wants to be stuck in the past, even the glamorous, loving kindness salad days parts. It's the past, man. Time to move on. Note to self:  Birdman at the Belcourt opens this week. 
  10. Micro-moments of awareness. 

October 17, 2014

Today Was a Good Day.

I swear I had almost forgotten what a simple, "Sure, sounds great" sounded like. Holy crap. Things I used to take for granted I no longer can and the tiniest acts of sincerity and civility stand out now. It was a great day—accompanied by THE best veggie burger in the world and topped off by having the courage to commit to at least one course of action. Rock on, indeed.

...And it just keeps getting better. Mind you, I'm talking incrementally, but there's something going on and it's good.