Monday, October 25, 2010

Drive Somewhere

The Vulgar Boatmen... Drive Somewhere (.mp3 audio 05:59). From the album You And Your Sister (1989, Record Collect RC-1171-1).

Dementia 13

Dementia 13 Dementia 13 (1963, American International Pictures). "...Written and directed by Francis Ford Coppola, this horror film depicts a strange family, complete with insanity and axe murders."

Sun Ra: Space Is the Place

Sun Ra: Space Is the Place (1974) at UbuWeb Film & Video. "...Avant-garde jazz musician Sun Ra stars in the movie version of his concept album Space Is the Place. Not following a linear plot line, this experimental film is a bizarre combination of social commentary, blaxploitation, science fiction, and concert performance. The opening scene is set in an intergalactic forest, with Sun Ra introducing his plan to use music as salvation for the black community. Back on Earth, he wears a disguise as Sunny Ray, a piano player in a 1940s Chicago strip club who causes an explosion with his sounds. Switching to a scene in a desert, he plays a card game called "The End of the World," with the Overseer (Ray Johnson), who is dressed in white and drives a white Cadillac. Sun Ra pulls out a spaceship card and the Arkestra play the song "Calling Planet Earth" as their spaceship lands in Oakland, CA."

Chaos and Classicism: Art in France, Italy, and Germany, 1918–1936

Chaos and Classicism: Art in France, Italy, and Germany, 1918–1936 at the Guggenheim. "...Following the chaos of World War I, a move emerged towards figuration, clean lines, and modeled form, and away from the two-dimensional abstracted spaces, fragmented compositions, and splintered bodies of the avant-gardes—particularly Cubism, Futurism, and Expressionism—that dominated the opening years of the 20th century. After the horrors visited upon humanity in the Western hemisphere by new machine-age warfare, a desire reasserted itself to represent the body whole and intact. For the next decade-and-a-half classicism, 'return to order,' synthesis, organization, and enduring values, rather than the pre-War emphasis on innovation-at-all-costs, would dominate the discourse of contemporary art. Chaos and Classicism traces this interwar classical aesthetic as it worked its way from a poetic, mythic idea in the Parisian avant-garde; to a political, historical idea of a revived Roman Empire, under Mussolini; to a neo-Platonic High Modernism at the Bauhaus, and then, chillingly, a pseudo-biological classicism, or Aryanism, in nascent Nazi culture."


Happy birthday to my son Kyle - 13 years old today.

Friday, October 15, 2010

J. J. Peet: Shadow

J. J. Peet: Shadow J. J. Peet: Shadow at On Stellar Rays. "...While engaging in investigations and activities outside the studio, PEET gathers crushed ceramics and minerals, which are later mixed with pigments and paint and applied to handcrafted panels. The painting surfaces carry a material history that serve a broader narrative constructed by the artist over the past decade, weaving together real world events and social concerns with fictitious forces such as 'The Resistants,' 'Luxury Leader,' and more recently, 'The Sunday Painter.' This narrative is suggested though PEET’s unique visual vocabulary; x-marks, floating heads, doubled forms, horizon lines, curtains, hats, glasses, and other utilitarian objects permeate landscapes, interiors, and ethereal spaces."

India: A Pilgrimage By Marilyn Bridges

India: A Pilgrimage By Marilyn Bridges at Throckmorton Fine Art in New York. "...35 black and white silver gelatin prints by the accomplished photographer, Marilyn Bridges. The photographs date from 1993 and 1996, when Bridges journeyed along the banks of the sacred Indian rivers, the Ganges and the Gandak. Here she observed the unfolding of ceremonies that date back to antiquity. In these solemn but prosaic rituals there is an ease -- even a symmetry -- between people and animals, including towering elephants. Bridges’ images exude a quiet dignity, effortlessly capturing both the simplicity and integrity of the Indian people. Most of the photographs were taken in the early morning light, and they have an ethereal quality, which is rich yet calming. Time seems suspended, and we are reminded of the pull of a more spiritual life."

Beyond COLOR: Color in American Photography 1950-1970

Beyond COLOR: Color in American Photography 1950-1970 at Bruce Silverstein Gallery. "...a re-examination of a pivotal period in photography’s short history, when the artistic relevance of color in fine art photography had yet to be determined. The exhibition unites works for the first time by many of the “first generation” practitioners of color photography including artists Marie Cosindas, Arthur Seigel, Harry Callahan, Eliot Porter, Saul Leiter, Marvin E. Newman, Pete Turner, Ruth Orkin and Ernst Haas. Other highlights include images exhibited for the first time by Magnum’s first female member, Inge Morath, as well as a special slide projection of color images by Garry Winogrand, images that were never printed by the artist. Beyond COLOR attempts to reclaim this moment of photographic history that only today has begun to receive critical attention."

Monday, October 04, 2010

Ephraim Burt Trimpey, 'Photo Artist' from Baraboo

Ephraim Burt Trimpey, 'Photo Artist' from Baraboo at the WHS. "...Images created by Baraboo photographer Ephraim Burt Trimpey cover a broad spectrum of photographic styles and subjects ranging from portraits and documentary photos to city scenes and landscapes. A self-described "photo artist," Trimpey studied photography in the early years of the 20th century. Some of the portraits in the collection have the sepia-tinted, painterly quality of that era. Others, which date from the 1920s through the '40s, appear quite modern, with sharp focus and contrast.
Trimpey was acutely attuned to style and fashion, both historic and contemporary. There are anachronistic images of models (including Trimpey and his wife, Alice Kent Trimpey) posing in clothing from the mid-19th century with antiques selected from their extensive collection. Alice's antique dolls, in period dress and carefully posed tableaus, appear in a series of hand-tinted photographs. Other images record Baraboo businesses stocked with the most up-to-date appliances and furnishings.

Barbara Crane: Private Views

Private Views Barbara Crane: Private Views at Stephen Wirtz Gallery. "...In the early 1980’s, Crane created a series of Polaroid photographs shot during the Chicago summer festivals. She focused on close-ups capturing the details of clothing, hairstyles, and most specifically, gesture. Through her lens, the viewer witnesses a tightly-cropped inventory of private gestures performed in very public spaces and experiences the energy of the crowd.
'I have treasured these pictures for their depiction of universal experiences, yet they are also a record of a specific moment in time as communicated via the unique – and now, sadly obsolete – photographic medium of the Polaroid. These images were shot during the heat of summer days, very close to the subjects, as I struggled to carry a hand-held 4 by 5 Super Graphic 45 camera, boxes of Polaroid sheet film, and a Polaroid film back. These photographs are truly labors of love.' Barbara Crane, October 2008."

Adam Fuss: Home and the World

Adam Fuss: Home and the World at Cheim & Read. "...Adam Fuss was born in London in 1961, and has lived and worked in New York City since 1982. He is best known for life size, evocative photograms of babies, embroidered Victorian baptismal dresses, eviscerated rabbits, swimming snakes. His imagery, often originating in the natural world, is hued by the spiritual and poetic; his process, which distills the essence of the photographic moment – a flash of light on a sensitized surface – emphasizes themes of transformation and perception. Fuss seeks not to describe an object with the detailed clarity of traditional photography, but rather in ghostly manifestations of light and shadow. He cradles intimate, complex subjects – death, memory, sexuality, childhood, loss – in images of notable size and simplicity."

Chris Ware: The ACME Novelty Library 20

Chris Ware: The ACME Novelty Library 20 at Adam Baumgold Gallery. "...This installment of the 'ACME Novelty Library' chronicles the life of Jordan Wellington Lint (b.1958) from cradle to grave, each year of Lint's life represented by a few representative seconds of consciousness per page. As he grows from child to sullen teen to angry young man to repressed upstanding citizen - and moves towards his inevitable end - Lint adapts to his own social advantages, personal mistakes and the lies he tells himself to somehow end up feeling pretty okay about things. Ware approximates Lint's inner life at every stage through a muddled stream of overlaid thoughts, personal symbols and mislaid memories, providing insight into the mind of a bemused father, ineffectual businessman and aspiring rock musician."