This mixed media painting has been in the studio for more than a year now. I have finally decided it's done. Caldera measures 16.5" X 18". The painting is encaustic collage with acrylic. This painting is available at $500.
In my series Familiar, Yet Elusive I explore different ways in which vibrant and undulating forms interrelate as they float, weave and twist through their environment.
Line is used to separate forms, contain energy and establish particular characteristics. While I paint in saturated and bold colors, I temper their intensity to keep them in a balanced relationship with one another.
The forms seem recognizable, but are they animal, mineral or vegetable? Although I am deliberate in my considerations, this group of acrylic paintings on canvas is open to multiple unpredictable interpretations.
SYRACUSE, NY-On Nov. 19, THE WAREHOUSE GALLERY at Syracuse University presents Alyson Shotz: Drawing Through Space, an exhibition including three wall drawings Untitled (3 views of an object), and the wire sculpture Line and Shadow. Public Reception: Nov. 19, 5-8 p.m. (Th3) Douglas Kinney Frost (music director, Syracuse Opera) and Zach Martin (singer, Syracuse Opera) will perform selections by Johann Sebastian Bach at 6 p.m. Artist Lecture: Feb. 4, 2010, 7 p.m., the Warehouse Auditorium Alyson Shotz will give a lecture on the role of light in her works. In partnership with the Everson Museum of Art Exhibition on view Nov. 19-Feb. 20, 2010 Location: 350 W. Fayette St., Syracuse, N.Y. 13202 Gallery Hours: Tuesday-Saturday, noon-6 p.m. / Third Thursdays noon-8 p.m. Closed for the holidays (Nov. 25-30; Dec. 24-Jan. 5, 2010).
ABOUT THE EXHIBITION: With the assistance of Syracuse University students, Brooklyn-based Shotz created her works on site, thus turning The Warehouse Gallery into a form of laboratory. Shotz is one of today's ground-breaking artists transforming contemporary art through a fusion of technology and handcrafted steel wire and yarn artworks.
Alyson Shotz: Drawing Through Space is made possible with generous support from Francis H. Williams. Additional support for the lecture is provided by the Syracuse University Sculpture Program. ABOUT THE ARTIST: Shotz lives and works in Brooklyn. A recipient of many awards, including the 2007 Saint-Gaudens Memorial Fellowship, Shotz was the 2005-06 Happy and Bob Doran Artist-in-Residence at Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, and is included in the collections of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. She is currently exhibited at All Visual Arts, London.
OTHER EXHIBITIONS: THE WAREHOUSE GALLERY WINDOW PROJECTS at Syracuse University opens this Confederacy of Dunces by Lynette K Stephenson,on view Nov. 19-Feb. 20, 2010. Hamilton-based Stephenson created an installation about New Orleans consisting of sixty hand-felted wool dunce caps. This exhibition is inspired by John Kennedy Toole's novel A Confederacy of Dunces (1980) set in New Orleans, where Stephenson's family home was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina, and based on her previous body of paintings, The Red Cross Series, which led to the idea for this site-specific project. In this work Stephenson engages in a dialogue about present-day social issues referring to New Orleans, the tragedy of the Hurricane and the universal symbol of the Red Cross.
Artist talk on Feb. 18, 2010, (Th3) at 6 p.m. (The Warehouse Gallery). For more information visit http://thewarehousegallery.syr.edu under WINDOW PROJECTS.
ABOUT THE WAREHOUSE GALLERY: THE WAREHOUSE GALLERY is an international contemporary art venue of SUArt Galleries at Syracuse University. The gallery's mission is to present exhibitions and programs by artists whose work engages the community in a dialogue regarding the role the arts can play in illuminating critical issues of our life and times.
For guided tours, large group visits and/or interviews with the artist and curator, please contact the gallery via email@example.com.
The Warehouse Gallery is accessible to wheelchair users via a street-level power-assist door adjacent to The Window Projects Gallery on W. Fayette St. For more information or groups with special needs please contact the gallery staff at (315) 443-6450.
EVENT PARKING: Free parking for main event nights is provided in the WHSE Lot adjacent to the building. The lot is accessible via Washington St. Check in with the guard at the booth; you will be directed where to park. On all other dates please use area parking lots or street parking. The Connective Corridor Free Shuttle (Centro #543) stops in front of the building on W. Fayette St, on a 40 min.loop. Visit http://connectivecorridor.syr.edu for more information. The Warehouse Shuttle/Centro #443 (between campus and the Warehouse Bld.) arrives in 10-20 min. intervals.
Art exhibition Opening: “Reflections, 2004-08”, from YounHee Yang
(openPR) - We cordially invite you to our inaugural exhibition opening on the 31st of October 2009 at 3 pm at the Villa K5, Berlin Lichterfelde Ost. The exhibition will be opened from Saturday, October 31st until Sunday, November 29th in our exhibition space at the Villa K5. The public inaugural opening will be held at Saturday, October 31st at 3 pm. From the exhibition opening onwards the official exhibition catalogue will be available for purchase at the exhibition and online.
YounHee Yang is a passionated artist, who is exploring Humanity itself from the beginnings. Her artistic work includes besides painting also installation, sculpture and video-art. In her new art projects, Miss Yang speaks for the socially weak marginal groups of our societies and points out preconceptions and nuisances in a playful manner. The artist herself: "My goal always was to make people wonder, to remind them, and to have them ask themselves questions.” In the exhibition "Reflections, 2004-09", the artist is presenting a selected overview of her work within the past years and their development between 2004 and 2009.
YounHee Yang, born 1977 in Seoul, Republic of Korea received her art instruction at the Dan-Kook University (Seoul) and Parsons School of Design (New York) and finished with the Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2005. In 2005 she relocated to Germany and currently lives and works in Berlin as a freelance artist. She exhibited her artwork in numerous countries. Exhibitions (Selection): - Threaded, Foundation BFA exhibition, NY, USA, 2005, Genesis - Open Video, Gasteig Munich, Germany, 2008/09, One Korea - World of Imagination Vol. II, APW Gallery, NY, USA, 2009, Meditation - Personally political – Contemporary Sensation, Kunsthaus Tacheles, Berlin, Germany, 2009, Hope – Hoffnung
Press photographs and exclusive interviews with the artist Miss Yang and the owner of Villa K5 can be arranged upon request on Friday, October 30th from 5 pm. Everyone not being able to personally attend the opening will have the opportunity to view impressions from the opening and the artworks exhibited from Tuesday, November 3rd at the homepage of the Antiquariat K5 found at http://www.buchklassik.de
These are the flyers and press release for YounHee's upcoming show in Berlin. This exciting international artist will be featured as a "Guest Artist" here on TIMEFORFRIDA in the near future. Look for her post.
This mixed media collage will be included in the upcoming invitational show at the Art Association in Oswego, New York.
Oswego Civic Arts Center
Sponsored by The Art Association of Oswego
Reception on October 10th from 7-9 pm
The reception is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.
Opening in the Timothy McHenry Gallery on the Art Center’s second floor will be Willful Eclecticism, an invitational exhibition of CNY artists whose work embodies a Postmodern approach. Selected area artists have been asked to submit artwork along with an explanation of its relationship to Postmodern themes such as conscious borrowing of ideas or imagery, skepticism toward universal beliefs, and reaction against modernist strategies of image-making.
Opening concurrently in the Jo Hyse Gallery on the first floor of the Arts Center will be a new exhibition of artwork by the members of Hat Factory, a local art collective of emerging artists whose work is diverse and cutting-edge.
The Oswego Civic Arts Center is located at the northernmost end of East 4th Street in Oswego, directly across from Fort Ontario.
Regular gallery hours are from 2-5 pm on weekends or by appointment. For more info call 315 343-5675.
"Splitalia",(detail) mixed media collage by KV Abbott. This is one of several figurative pieces that I will be including in an exhibtion at the "Gear Factory" fall show in Syracuse. The show opens Saturday October 10 with an artists reception/party from 5pm -???.
Abstraction allows man to see with his mind what he cannot physically see with his eyes. Abstract art enables the artist to perceive beyond the tangible to extract the infinite out of the finite. It is the emancipation of the mind. It is the explosion into unknown areas.
In this body of work I have applied oils thickly and energetically expressing a personal sense of freedom and exuberance in literal passages of paint - large swaths of colour guide the viewer at varying tempos through the canvases. "Passages I" serves a dual purpose, firstly the quiet, subtle tones link it to many of my earlier paintings and secondly the initial visual statement of my theme provides the take off point for the evolution of the other works. In "Passages I", the rocky bluffs and watery channels are presented in a fairly representative manner, while in other works to follow, these same elements become increasingly abstracted.
Looking beyond the immediacy of paint and brushwork, I invite the viewer to pause and investigate the works on a different level, to consider them as allegorical navigations.
On maps and charts of the sea, the word passage occurs frequently, indicating the way through a channel. Contemporary navigation aids allow us to locate, with amazing precision, all dangers and obstacles within these channels. They guarantee our safe passage. However, it is the "uncertain before" that most interests me; the first time through when the way is still unknown; when a push in any direction reveals new things; a time when one places markers for those who might choose a similar course. While I have created a series of small markers paintings the majority of my works focus on the unknown. Within these paintings are mysterious entrances partially hidden or darkened. It is this mystery and feeling of imminent discovery that intrigues me. I imagine the first explorers desire to see and learn was as motivating as the potential of discovery itself. Chance and circumstance played as important a role as skill and knowledge.
This navigation allegory naturally expands to encompass life itself. Which one of us does not feel "at sea" by times, or find we are facing the unexpected challenges for which there is no obvious resolution? To return to Gorky, to engage the finite in search of a possible infinite, "to see with the mind" and to "explode into unknown areas" are lofty goals, but for me they define both abstract art and the act of living. That is what this exhibition is about!
To learn more about this artist visit her web site by clicking on the image in the side bar.
Lives and works in Stillwater, New York, with Anni, Sid and Gilly
U.S. Armed Forces (unarmed medic): 1968-1972
EDUCATION: Schenectady Community College, Empire State College
JOBS: Bus Driver, Ironworker, Oil Refinery Worker, Captain of Oil Barge, NY Harbor, 1990- started selling work on the street.
Are you self-taught? Yes. I went to college, but my degree is not in art.
Do you like cheesecake? Yes. With red cherries on top.
What is your medium? I use scavenged materials mostly. Driftwood, rocks, plastic, and metal. I think an artist should use the stuff most readily available to him or her. Dumpster diving is an art all by itself. Tip: make sure there's enough junk inside the dumpster before you jump in. You'll need to pile it up to use as a ladder to get out. Also, make sure nobody else is in the dumpster. You could land on top of them.
Where do you get your ideas? I get asked this question a lot. The antenna is up and the engine is always running.
Where do you live? I live in the town of Stillwater, New York which is on the Hudson River, located 25 miles north of Albany. It's not the middle of nowhere, but it's close.
Do you have any pets? Yes. 2 dogs. Sid and Gilly. They are small and don't know it.
Will my satisfaction be guaranteed? Ah.......no.
Deb and I first became acquainted with Howard on-line. We have a mutual interest in Nova Scotia where Howard spends time in the summer. We exchanged several e-mails and then last year when Howard came to Syracuse to do the Plow Shares show, we went down to meet him.
We ended up buying a wall sculpture that is a fabulous addition to our collection. I encourage you to visit Howard's web site by clicking on the image in the side bar.
Howard injects a lot of satire and political commentary into his art. I really appreciate the humor and honesty in his work.
Jan Wurm graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles, and received a Master's degree from the Royal College of Art in London. Wurm's work has been exhibited in many galleries, including the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, the Mandeville Art Gallery of the University of California, San Diego, the Newport Harbor Art Museum Art Rental Gallery, and Southern Exposure Gallery, San Francisco. She has taught for the University of California Extension, and the Art Studio of the Associated Students of the University of California (ASUC). Wurm divides her time between Berkeley, California, and Los Angeles.
No Naked Nudes
Two divergent trends have led to these musings. The first is a public dictum to eradicate the nude from art. It is neither an open public debate nor the topic of art forums. Yet it exists as a curatorial directive whispered between institution and artist. The experience that public funding can be withdrawn from an individual artist or an art institution presenting work of a nature not approved by a general public has created a self-censoring climate. This censorship has become thoroughly internalized. Several years ago it seemed particularly ironic to me when, having been told, quite matter-of-factly, by the curator of the San Francisco Art Commission Art in City Hall exhibition program, that I should not include any nudes in my exhibition, I walked around the building to find an exhibition of photography. The photographer had accompanied the police to crime scenes. There, laid before the viewer, were images of women who had been abused, raped, and murdered. These horrific scenes, presented without the consent of the subjects, were fine to grace the walls of City Hall. The notion of a carefree line drawing of a playful, cartoon-y nude frolicking under a palm tree was forbidden. The brutalization of a woman could be shown, the personal freedom of nudity could not. The quietly intoned: "Of course, no nudes" came to mind again as I recently entered one of the galleries at the California Palace of the Legion of Honor. The sign warned of the nature of the artwork. The art museum, home to centuries of painting, drawing, and sculpture rendering the nude, required a warning worthy of the surgeon general.
In contrast to this public disavowal of the propriety of the nude in art there emerged a new trend: the phenomenal popularity of life drawing. The die-hard groups meeting weekly for decades on the campuses of the University of California Berkeley and the San Francisco Art Institute were now surrounded by mushrooming groups in every corner studio. Artists of the most abstract, rigorously non-mimetic conviction confessed to years of secret life drawing. The doctor, lawyer, tinker, and tailor now gather round the model stand. The naturalist who keeps his binoculars trained on birds writes gushingly about the experience of drawing from the model. There appears a semblance of sport, an impulse to entertain.
From the perspective of an artist committed to the figure and the humanistic social content of art, this engagement has held a visual search for form and expression in the nude. Hopefully these drawings add to a tradition in a meaningful way. The opportunity to publish these drawings is certainly one to be seized; the opportunity to exhibit them may not present itself within the current climate. These drawings were made within a studio tradition of a drawing practice; yet, I have hoped, with each turn of the page, to discover something new and wondrous beyond.
Learn more about Jan Wurm by clicking on the linked image in the side bar.
Well we are finally back at it here at TIMEFORFRIDA, after a couple of months of limited posts. Spring arrived and my time and energy moved to outside activities. I also inadvertently dumped a file with a number of submissions that I had planned to post. I apologize to those artists who have been looking for their work. Please feel free to re-submit.
In any case, I am pleased to introduce an exciting young artist , Mr. Sean O'Neill. Sean is a recent graduate of the University of Delaware's Fine Art program. He also does some interesting sculpture and I especially like his photography. Check out his web site by clicking on the image in the side bar. Enjoy!!
When creating a painting, I use a combination of minimal, expressive, and realistic techniques to craft pieces that create excitement, while simultaneously tell a story. Some topics I grace are comical, while others are more serious and dark. Through the use of scale and shape, I can use minimal rendering to produce a high contrast between dark and light, thus making a photo-realistic painting, only painting in the darkest areas. I try to bring in this style, with a painterly style of both realistic (portraits) and expressionistic (landscapes). All elements come together to form a new world, a world that explores what is real and what is just finished with your eye and the viewers’ imagination. In every painting I try to create a sense of fantastical encounters and unhinged events by using imaginary situations and realistic characters. I investigate a new style of painting often. I maintain curiosities involving my own capabilities with paint, this mindset provides each one of my paintings with a distinctive style, that is at sometimes graphic and painterly. Inevitably I hope to unify these two elements of my painting style. I started my graphic painting style with using just black and white. Using high contrast in these paintings progressed to incorporating such contrast with my instinctive painterly style. When I am painting, I have to become two painters; one who wants flat, highly contrasted black and white imagery, and the other who is interested in bright colorful images that can be made with the brush strokes. Each one is painted differently, the black and white is a very slow process of great detail and precision, and the more painterly technique is faster and more about movement and mark, than precision. I also attempt investigate the gloriousness of life and how everything around us is artistically crafted and seamlessly engaging in every way to everyone and the world around us. I paint because I enjoy it, because if I didn’t paint I would not be able to fully engage the world around me and be able to create a sense of understanding for the relationships that all living and non-living things have with another. My art reflects my feelings about everything I hold inside myself until I paint it, whether it is to laugh a little more, or to cry a little more, it doesn’t really matter because I am just trying to evoke great feeling. I work to enhance the world one still, visual moment at a time. In each painting, whether I plan it out or just paint with no plan in mind, comes to life, and grasps the viewers’ attention. I hope to achieve this intensely and for as long as possible. I make my decisions as an artist based on my own experiences and feelings, rather than previously used techniques derived from any one artist. I find inspiration not from the work created by other artists, but from the subjects I choose to paint, and how I would like to see them
Send us a few samples of your work and you might be our next "Guest Artist". We had several artists lined up and somehow lost the files. If you sent us work you may have been among those lost, please feel free to re-send.
We have been living it up for quite a while now without bothering to pay the bill. China, Japan and other countries were nice enough to put up the money for our spending spree. We sure hope they won´t want it back very soon. Our total national debt is 15 trillion, more than it has ever been before. Who is going to pay this bill?
Before 1980, the U.S. exported more than it imported. How did we change from the American Producer to the American Consumer? How did we become so dependant on other nations and incapable of taking care of ourselves in this land of plenty?
For decades we have stuffed the economy like a goose. Everything had to be packaged and marketed. People got used to seeing shopping as the only means of self-affirmation. I buy, therefore I am. It even became a patriotic duty to spend money and buy more new things. The old things had to be thrown away, leaving a gigantic garbage problem.
We became spoiled, demanding consumers, clamoring louder for bread and games and allowing ourselves to be stupefied with an entertainment program at least as brutal as the gladiator games. We became passive slaves of the American dream of luxury. We didn´t care what was going on in Washington, as long as we had our flatscreens and new SUVs.
It has long been apparent that the American standard of living is unsustainable. But above that, it is undesirable. When you look around, you see many people so obese they need two seats on the bus. How did we get so fat? Advertising and the constant proffering of snacks, soda and processed food is ruining the nation´s health. Who is profiting?
These questions and more are being asked in the wake of the economic catastrophe. Art can make us aware of situations we might otherwise ignore.
It can help us find a new way to face the economic and social problems that are urgently demanding our attention.
My works are manifestations, or Mindscapes, that express spirituality, psychological trauma, bliss, disassociation, humor, fear, duality, oneness and isolation. It is a concentration of the feminine and masculine energy, the need to uncover and nurture, the meticulousness of line and flow and the desire to see not only holistically but from lost or broken standpoints. I believe our society has become bright, colorful, dynamic and overloaded with information only to disguise the ugly, the fragmented, the oppressed and the void in our modern lives. I use bright, bold colors to captivate the viewer, as modern technology has, but I do not use it to veil the strange, painful, or forgotten: I use it to call it out; to exercise it; to exorcise it. Modern society has stripped its people of spirituality, and its psychological construction of reality. Humans have been cast out into a homeless world where we have chosen instead to reconstruct an imitation of life through technological material. Through the advancements of science, which continues the legacy of masculine domination over feminine nature, technology has not only dismantled our gods of the past but has itself become a god “a technogod“ and turned us into machines to fit its paradigm shift. A god unlike all other gods, one that gives us everything we desire, or are told to desire, to feed our own selfishness or insecurities. Science has allowed us to see into the crevasses of reality, as well as create new realities; and this has created cognitive dissonance in the mystical mind of our primitive selves. I have begun to call my art technomysticism, which conjures up my deep connection with the old world, my current entanglement with 21st century isolation, and the unknown environment of the future. The imagery I create is not my own but is given to me in times of silence, in meditation, in thoughtful awareness, through the spirits of the past. I tend to use dark, crisp lines and saturated hues to create a balance of fragmentation and interconnectedness, which I feel encapsulates our zeitgeist. My content is a response to sexual oppression, religious oppression, racial oppression, class oppression, gender oppression and most importantly; self oppression: or the act of those in power to eliminate self-awareness, to blanket our true, personal nature, as well as the act of individuals to repress their oneness with the cellular organism we call Earth, our home. My characters take on androgynous forms and my landscapes littered with humor; like flying penises and robotic babies. I capture transcendental experiences like the awakening of myriads of hidden people in this shell I call a body, or dream experiences where I spend moments in flight or in strange carnivals of lust and disorder, violence and stillness where people morph into other animals and vice versa. For me, creating art is my spirituality in practice; it is a moment of taking disorder and confusion and bringing it into harmony, bringing it to the surface. We are spiritual nomads wandering a desolate landscape we call existence; we are spiritual beings living in a beautifully infinite landscape we call the mind.
Anthem - by KV Abbott. This painting is mixed media on paper and is part of an on-going series of paintings and sculptures inspired by the writing of Ayn Rand. This painting is available at $400.00. call or e-mail for details. firstname.lastname@example.org 315-668-9459
Currently, I am working in mixed media assemblage. This has been my preferred medium for several years now since it brings together all the differing types of making art that I have explored over the years. I love the freedom mixed media gives me to put together colour and texture and varying surfaces. I am lucky enough to have my own studio and therefore have the space to collect all manner of objects, papers, paints and inks. Since I never know what a piece of art may require, I hang on to all sorts of things that other people might consider “garbage”. In fact, I find a lot of my resources at the local dump! I am also lucky in that I make part of my living in the art world, as a curator of a small public gallery. I get to connect often with other artists and in that interaction I find more of my inspiration.
The motivation behind my art is hard to define. I have an almost constant need or drive to create. I pile together rocks and driftwood on the beach, organize ornaments in my home, design flower beds in my garden and put together mixed media pieces in my studio. To me, all of that is art and I've always been inspired by it. Creating art is my meditation, spirituality and means of communicating with the rest of humanity. I use art to make statements about both personal and social issues and often a combination of both.
Statement My art is a product of my experiments with process, color, form and composition. I have always considered what I do to be “messing around with paint.” I never plan my paintings; I let what happens during the process determine the final outcome. Someone once described my art as being “dark, but whimsical,” and that sounds accurate to me. I prefer art that is expressive, dynamic, colorful, un-self conscious, and somewhat raw (Diebenkorn, DeKooning, Guston, Scully, Bazelitz, Basquait, etc.). I mostly work abstract these days, though I occasionally let in recognizable imagery (see TVs painting). Ultimately, the reason I paint is because I occasionally like the results.
Biography I was born in Schenectady, New York in 1956. I grew up there and in Cleveland, Ohio and attended higher education at Boston University. Though I did art when I was young, I didn’t get serious about it until after graduating from College. I’ve taken painting courses at UMass and the Fine Arts School in Boston and the San Francisco Art Institute. I use a room in my apartment in San Francisco as a studio. I generally create about one painting a month.
The major goal in producing my art is to apply a primal energy that solidifies my experience as a human to canvas. A fluid approach of spontaneity and confusion is essential to my finished product. The subject matter is one of universal understanding; it is the reflection of one’s self that matters most, using abstract forms to unbalance any preconceived notions of rationale. What little representations that do exist are merely adaptations of the primary idea into more fully developed forms. My willingness to let go of the customary subjects and examine the idea of belief and ideas existing beyond the plane of paint on canvas has given me opportunities to exploit my enthusiasm. My own methods of art making are straightforward, in that they truly have no convention only habits may define them and impulsiveness frees them. That process in itself is key in the outcome I deem necessary. A true palette is conceived with minimum contemplation and with total finality knowing that it will be utterly consumed by the conclusion of each project. It is my aim to teach myself to see in a very specific manner that allows the undeniable image an opportunity to spawn until the vision is complete. An innate surveillance of the initiative that hemorrhages forth the specific and general information defines the boundaries between a hypothesis and fruition. An understanding of the spectator’s position is intended to give the witness all the introspection they desire, without a severe definition of purpose. The autobiographical nature is rooted so deep that one may have no knowledge of it at all. In finding the solution to each work the initial concept must be purged several times to embalm the overall purity of the piece. The use of triggers to make connections is critical to unleashing the more imminent information while obscuring the inferior backdrop. My questioning and hunt for an image becomes the genesis and path along which my work travels. This excursion must be open and broad, and not focused on termination. I draw the heart of the action from images of remembrance, past and present, recollections of objects used, populations destroyed, manifestation of moments, or extensive passages of time. I must include everything, and yet, all may be removed in order for me to feel the tension and presence of recalled emotion. With each painting, I undertake a search for an engaging image with no pre-existing plan. The human essentials of space, time, place, landscape, and light are the perceptual cues that I use (however ambiguous or diffuse they may appear). I am motivated by the inherent contradictions in painting: its physicality, its misleading potential. I use the medium –the process itself-sometimes spontaneously, sometimes progressively, to generate the finished work. As much as each work is a result of a number of processes, the sum of canvas and paint, each is also an image that is conjured and visualized through the medium, spurred by the qualities of paint. The work automatically exists through the evidence of its incarnation, but also can imply a fiction that belies its resources.
In addition to the weekly "Guest Artist" feature, I enjoy introducing readers to some of my favorite artists. To date I have featured stories on, or at least introductions to, artists such as Frida Khalo, Berenice Abbott and Norman Bluhm.
This week for those not familiar with Mary Abbott, here is a brief introduction to one of the few pre-feminist movement female artists to achieve success in modern art.
Born in Boston in 1921 and raised in New York and Washington, DC high society, Mary Abbott is one of a very small group of female artists who achieved both critical and public success among the first generation of American Abstract Expressionists.
In the 1930's Abbott began studying at the Art Students League and the Corcoran School and later would count among her friends many of the top painters of the era. Mentored by Robert Motherwell, Mark Rothko and Barnett Newman, Abbott began to exhibit at important New York galleries in the 1950's.
Abbott’s work was featured in surveys of contemporary drawing, organized by the Museum of Modern Art in 1950 and 1956. She taught painting at the University of Minnesota in the 1970's and was the first artist of her generation to set up a studio in Manhattan’s revitalized SOHO.
Like many artists of the period, Abbott has many colorful stories surrounding her life. It is believed that she was introduced to peyote, a hallucinogen by sculptor David Hare which had a great influence on her understanding and use of color. She was a regular at the Artist’s Club and Cedar Tavern in New York. In the 1940's she began an affair with Willem deKooning and proclaimed him,” the love of my life”.
In 2007 the McCormick Gallery in Chicago organized a major retrospective exhibition of her work.