Seven Weeks and Counting

I am preparing MFA show date is October 26th and have created a proposed materials list.  The expense of this project is mind blowing:

Materials List

(2) Gallons glow in the dark paint @ $550/gallon = $1100
(2) Gallons primer @ $21/gallon = $42
(2) Gallons black paint @ $27/gallon = $54
(100) Top Choice 2 x 4 x 8 #2 Prime Treated Lumber @ $4/board = $400
(40) Lehigh #18 x 800’ Twisted Nylon Mason Line @ $8/spool = $320
(26) Charlotte Pipe ¾-in x 10-ft 480 PSI PVC Pressure Pipe @ $2/pipe = $52
(13) cans black spray paint @ $8/can = $104
(156) blue concrete screws @ $1/screw = $156
(4) boxes wood screws @ $6/box = $24
(4) 3-in Wall Synthetic Paint Brush @ $4/brush = $16
(8) 40-pack Screw Eyes Hooks @ $4/pack = $32
(8) Scripto Aim-N-Flame II XL Wind-Resistant Starter Lighter @ $5/lighter = $40
Allen and Roth 4-Pack Oil-Rubbed Solar-Power LED Path Lights = $50
(10) String of Paper Lantern Lights 12 white LED @ $5/lantern = $50
12=ft x 9-ft 8oz Canvas Drop Cloth @ $22/cloth = $88
Rental fee for SVGA (800x600) 2500 Lumens RGB and Component cable input = $130
Venue Rental Fee = $500

TOTAL: $3158

I have been looking for all types of funding resources including emergency grants.  The following kickstarter (video above) was designed to help me make this the best show possible.  If you can donate - even a $1 will help me! - please, please, please do so.  I need your help so desperately and will be ever so grateful to your donation.

The Trip to Dia Beacon....

....begins at Grand Central Station (or at least for me... see pictures above).  After purchasing tickets ($31.50 pays for a round trip and entrance into the museum) I was on a train for 80 minutes to Beacon, NY.  A lovely trip that runs alongside the water, Dia Beacon is a reasonable distance to travel to and well worth it.

Dia has to be the most beautiful museum I have ever been to.  It has sky lights through out allowing the natural light to pour in and fill the galleries.  The rooms are large and spacious, plenty of room to view large work.

The first galleries I walked through were dedicated to Agnes Martin, seen above.  These galleries seemed like the perfect space to view her work.  The colors in the paintings were reflected in the light on the walls and above in the sky lights.  I was not supposed to take pictures but I couldn't resist and I was stealthily taking shots here and there to capture the work and the space.

Agnes Martin, Untitled, 1959
The next series of work that I really enjoyed were the Robert Ryman paintings.  These paintings are best seen in person.  Well, all work is best seen in person but I think it is hard to truly appreciate Ryman's work until you are standing in front of it and you are able to see the subtleties in the paint and the supports.

Robert Ryman, Untitled, 1960
Robert Ryman, Varese Wall, 1975

Robert Ryman, Third Prototype, 2003
Moving on through the galleries I happened upon a sun-filled room full of John Chamberlain sculptures.  The wall of windows and sunshine made Chamberlain's sculptures seem almost delicate.  Dia's galleries gives the viewer enough space to move around these pieces and get right up on top of them allowing one to appreciate all their details.
Chamberlain Sculptures
John Chamberlain, Daddy in the Dark,

Dan Flavin, "Monuments" for V. Tatlin, one from a series of 201964 - 1981

Another full gallery space was dedicated to Dan Flavin's "Monuments" for V. Tatlin, work that I have studied but have never seen before.  These pieces were so very bright, even in the well lit space of the gallery.  They were almost oppressively bright and very hard to look at.  This piece (above) was my favorite, probably because of the use of color and the way the piece was reflected into the floor.
Sol LeWitt, Wall Drawing #118: Fifty randomly placed points connected by straight lines, 1971
Turn the corner and you have rooms full of Sol LeWitt's innovative drawings along the corresponding instructions.  So simple and yet complex at the same time.  One of my favorite things about Sol LeWitt was this letter he wrote to Eva Hesse (not on display but I love it so much I decided to post it):

"Dear Eva: Just Do"  Sol LeWitt's encouraging
epistle to Eva Hesse in 1965.  
Sol Le Witt, Wall Drawing #136: Arcs and Lines, 1972
Walking through Sol LeWitt galleries.
Michael Heizer,  Megalith #5, 1998
Michael Heizer is an artist I had not experienced before, or at least, I don't remember seeing his work before.  It could be that I saw images and was only mildly impressed.  This is the kind of work that is best seen in person.  I particularly enjoyed North, East, South, West.  Heizer made the following statement about his work: "If you want to see the Pieta, you go to Italy.  To see the Great Wall, you go to China.  My work isn't conceptual art, it's sculpture.  You just have to see it."
Michael Heizer, North, East, South, West (Detail), 1967 - 2002

One of my favorite artists, Robert Smithson, had some of his non-sites installed at Dia.  Every time I have opportunity to see Smithson's work I am more intrigued.  I will never forget first seeing one of his mirror pieces at the Wexner Center in Ohio and not understanding.  After all, it was just a pile of gravel in front of a mirror, what's the big deal?  But after studying his work and reading his essays,  experiencing his work in real time will always be a thrill.  And of course, I will never forget my trip out to the Great Salt Lake to see the Spiral Jetty.
Robert Smithson, Map of Broken Glass (Atlantis), 1969
Fred Sandback, Untitled (Detail), 1996
Fred Sandback's installations are amazing in their ability to convey a boundary with a simple line. There is an optical illusion that occurs when you approach them.  It was difficult to capture Sandback's work.  Please use the above link to see it in more detail.
Robert Irwin, Rendering of forecourt for Dia:Beacon
Riggio Galleries, 2001
My final experience at Dia was Robert Irwin's permanent installation.  So nice to be surrounded by trees and the sounds of birds and bugs.  Walking through the trees out to a deck that overlooks a small glimpse of the sparkling water through the trees below was a wonderful way to end my Dia Beacon experience.
Robert Irwin, detail.
Robert Irwin, detail.

Savannah Venue Search etc.

Exterior of Southern Pine and the location
of the screen for my video.

For the past 8 days I have been in Savannah, Georgia.  I traveled by train to meet with my professors and visit the venue for my MFA thesis show.  I returned to NYC with a sense of accomplishment: the location of the show is secured and I have a sense of what I need to accomplish in order to finish my requirements for gradation.

Southern Pine; location of one of the install sights.

My show date is Friday October 26th, 2012 and will occur at Southern Pine located at 35th and Broad.  I am really looking forward to working in this space to create an interactive show that will include both interior and exterior installations.

Old wood pylons I intend to incorporate
into the show.

I spent the majority of my time in Savannah working.  I felt the need to really get a sense of what I am trying to accomplish.  Seeing the show site really helped me to tie all of the concepts I am juggling in my mind.  The other thing that helped was attending a fellow grad student's MFA show.

Shed Skin 1 and Two, cotton machine embroidery on wool.
On August 17th, I went to the opening reception of Primal Concentration, a SCAD fibers MFA thesis exhibition by Maggie Jay Horne (also check out Maggie's tumblr).  I was excited to see Maggie's work and knew that the experience would give me a good sense of what I should be working towards in my own thesis show.

Shroud, handwrapped sisal cording, machine
and hand embroidery, cotton, wool and
acrylic yard, linen base, dyed with
coffee and wine.

Shroud, detail.

Prattsville, NY and Chelsea Part 1

Cabin in the Catskills.

This quarter, I have been interning with artist Nadja Marcin in effort to get an idea of what it means to be a professional artist.  Working with Nadja has been a learning experience, one that keeps me on my toes.  Typically I am doing traditional intern-like work such as dropping off and picking up film, scanning images or trimming a panel with a jigsaw.  This week, she invited me to join her at a residency in Prattsville, NY along with a few other artists.  I am unable to talk about what we did there but I will say that the experience was a valuable one.

View from our "cabin"/residency location.

Today I went to Chelsea with my friend and roommate Taylor to check out some of the galleries.  Up until this point I have always visited the galleries during the openings, which I feel is more about being seen that appreciating the work.  Today there were very few people out and a about and Taylor and I were able to enjoy both the air conditioning and the artwork.

First stop was the Steven Kasher Gallery exhibiting photos by Jim Marshall.  I enjoyed looking at the photographs; seeing baby-faced Mick Jagger and a young Ray Charles was amazing.  Over all, the show was good but Taylor and I both noticed this (not like it was hard to miss):

An album display stuck to the wall with masking tape.  If you look at the top right corner, third row down you will see that this one is slipping from the walls.  I suppose I am exaggerating this issues because so much is expected from the Chelsea galleries in the art world; you would think (or at least I do) that the owners would want everything to be perfect.  Maybe they don't care?

Christophe Avella-Bagur
Face FS129 The Obscure and the Reason, 2011
78 ¾ x 57 inches, 200 x 145 cm oil on canvas

Next stop was Gallerie Richard to take a look at the First Year in New York Group Show.  With it's roots in Paris, Gallerie Richard is new to the big apple.  Of the work the work displayed, I like Paul Henry Ramirez paintings the most.  I enjoyed their whimsical nature and his exploration of space.  I also enjoyed how he used non-tradition painting materials such as glitter to create his compositions.

Paul Henry Ramirez, Playconics 5, 66" x 66"Acrylic on canvas

Around the block we came across Lennon, Weinberh, Inc. where I saw the work of Denyse Thomasos (see painting below).  I really enjoyed this painting entitled Yves Blue, because of the artist's use of line to depict architectural elements.  I also enjoyed Jill Moser's work, specifically because of her strong use of color.

Denyse Thomasos, Yves Blue, Acrylic on Canvas, 78" x 72"

Jill Moser, Held's Green, Oil on Canvas, 60" x 42"

Our final stop was Yossi Milo Gallery where we saw the work of Matthew Brandt.  I think that this was probably my favorite show of all that we saw today.  The show is entitled Lakes and Reservoirs, Trees, Honeybees and Taste Tests in Color and is an example of an artist who is truly pushing the limits of what is and can be an art material.  "Taste Tests in Color is a 4-color multi-layered silkscreen made of jewel-toned handmade edible ink" (Yossi Milo Gallery Press Release 2012).  The Honeybees project depicts work made out of actual honey bees (see detail below).

Matthew Brandt, Bees of Bees 1, 2012


NYC - The New Museum

The New Museum
Today I made the trip into the city to Bowery Street to check out The New Museum and Ghosts in the Machine, an exhibition that "brings together the dreams and nightmares of the modern age as expressed by a remarkable number of artists, writers and visionaries" (Lisa Phillips).  Some of the artists included in the show are Robert Smithson, Hans Haacke and Bridget Riley just to name a few.

The New Museum is a building from top to bottom; when you first arrive you take the elevator all the way to the seventh floor called the "Sky Room."  There is an observation deck where visitors can experience the amazing view below.
View from the Sky Room

A trip to the fourth floor takes you to the beginning of the show, a gallery filled with Bridget Riley's Op-Art paintings, and Stan VanDerBeek's Movie Drome 1963 - 66/2012.

The Movie Drome is an interactive piece.  Shaped like a large igloo and constructed out of a mail-order grain silo, it's a space where viewers are encouraged to go into the Dome, lie down on floor cushions and watch multiple layered slide and movie projections.  There is also also the element of sound which is multi-layered as well.  Sensory overload is an understatement. 
View from inside the Movie Drome.

Walking downstairs to the next gallery space below, you encounter Mark Leckey's video installation Pearle Vision 2012, one of several recent contemporary pieces that reflects a "fascination with earlier machines and the types of knowledge and experiences that are lost as we move from one era to the next..."(Ghosts in the Machine).

One of my favorite pieces was located on this floor.  Spaczio Elastico (Elastic Space) 1967-68 is an installation created by artist Gianni Colombo.  A room lit only with black-light, the space was defined by glow-in-the-dark elastic cord that was connected to motors that would pull the string in various directions.  This would manipulate the cubes of space into different shapes.  

Another pleasant surprise was seeing The Harrow, which was the machine from Franz Kafka's "In the Penal Colony," 1914.  As soon as I walked into the room I knew what it was.  It was a terrible looking object, a mean piece of furniture if there ever was one, pen nibs raised and ready to mark it's next victim to death.
The Harrow

Spaczio Elastico (Elastic Space) 1967-68

Seeing Hans Haacke's Blue Sail was inspriational.  So simple and yet so beautiful, it is an ingenious piece.  Another piece that I truly loved was Eye Model 2006, a piece by artists João Maria Gusmão and Pedro Paiva.  Equally beautiful is a light installation entitled Hangende Lichtkugel by Otto Piene.   

Hans Haacke Blue Sail 1964-65
Otto Piene Hangende Lichtkegel 1972

The Art Institute of Chicago

I was just recently in Chicago for a brief visit while traveling back to New York and I had a few hours to spend in the Art Institute.  I have always loved this museum.  It was during a visit to the Art Institute years ago that my 8 year old self decided that I was going to grow up and become an artist.  Naturally, I gravitate towards this place whenever I'm in Chicago, one of my favorite cities in the world.

The Art Institute has several exhibitions right now that are worth checking out, particularly Fashioning the Object: Bless, Boudicca, and Sandra Backlund.  This show engages the viewer on multiple levels with video installations and a gallery filled with chain mail to touch, walk though and have a separate kinesthetic experience.

Sandra Blacklund

Parcours, an exhibition located in the Mondern Wing at the Art Institute, was developed through collaboration between artists Florian Pumhösl and Liz Deschenes among others in effort to create an art experience originally by Bauhaus designer Herbert Bayer that was never physically realized until now.  Bayer's idea was to create a maze within the gallery, one that would cause the viewer to use the art work and it's location as a way to move through the space.
“Left/Right” Liz Deschenes

The word parcours is French and means "route"  or "path."  In the United States, a parcours is an gymnastics trail designed to exercise the body and mind in tandem.  

Florian Pumhösl (detail, Modern Wing Gallery reflected)

Roy Lichtenstein: A Retrospective is an exhibition that features never before seen pieces by the prolific pop artist.  With almost 160 pieces in the show, it is considered to be the largest compilation of Lichtenstein's work to date.

"Mirror #1" Roy Lichtenstein 1969

Although Lichtenstein's work has been monumental in the creation of art history, I personally have never been drawn to it.  However, I will say that as an emerging artist, it was very interesting to have the chance to see Lichtenstein's beginnings as he strove to find his visual voice.  For example, this retrospective presents some of his earlier works such as the piece presented below, showing Lichtenstein's roots in Abstract Expressionism.
"Untitled" late 1950's