Joan Waltemath’s paintings are not to be seen, but experienced. Their architectural nature speaks to the body and its 1:1 connection to surface
Behind the mysterious moniker Klaus von Nichtsaagend are Rob Hult and Sam Wilson, RISD graduates and co-founders of the Williamsburg gallery. They discuss the origins of their space (as well as the German name), the artistic community they’ve helped foster, and the luck that’s helped them stay afloat.
For this installment of Post Impressions, Kanishka Raja takes the scenic route from Kashmir to Switzerland in conceptualizing his latest series of paintings.
Kanishka Raja’s colorful, complex paintings collapse and compress associations of space, perspective, and time to reflect the megacity experience. Ideas of movement, migration, and pattern are all considered in the density and structure of these contemporary images. I interviewed Kanishka in December in his Brooklyn studio as he prepared for an installation representing his gallery, Greenberg Van Doren, in the upcoming Armory Art Show (March 8–11). Kanishka Raja is a recipient of a 2011 Joan Mitchell Foundation grant; the 2004 ICA Artist Prize from the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; and residencies at the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Workspace Program, the International Studio and Curatorial Program and the Civitella Ranieri Center. His work is included in the collections of the Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA and the Meadows Art Museum, Texas.
Mary Jones interviews painter, professor and RISD basketball coach William Miller.
This June Alexis Knowlton spoke at The Drawing Center’s colloquium on the “Power of Art.” Her topic was “S.L.A.T.”, Super Lame Art Thematization; calling attention to the corruption of the artist’s intention in the presence of evil middlemen.
This edition of Post Impressions features painter Julian Kremier.
Rebeca Raney (RISD, BFA 2003, and School of Visual Arts, MFA in 2005) knows how to tell a story. It’s not unusual for a conversation that begins over a stack of new drawings to end with a spellbinding tale weaving together sleazy landlords, collapsing Florida real estate, one tough mom and murder.
From a styrofoam egg carton to scenes inhabited by ancestors, Aaron Gilbert’s work brims with a continuity in life force that eerily bridges traditions of painting and spirituality to the present. He discusses the philosophy and politics of his work with Mary Jones.
“For me, there’s something absolutely affirming and necessary in exploring the negative . . .” Mary Jones speaks to artist Marc Handelman about multiculturalism, marble, and mountains in the latest Post Impressions.
Marc Handelman’s most recent show Geological Studies at Home and Abroad took place at Sikkema Jenkins & Co. where he is represented. He will also show at Reception Gallery in Berlin this November. Marc was a recipient of the 2011 Awards for Artists from Printed Matter, and his book Archive for a Mountain will soon be published by Publication Studios. Marc graduated from RISD in 1998 and from Columbia in 2005. I met him in his Brooklyn studio in July.
With Chinatown tat and other trimmings, Whitney Claflin attaches personal significance to otherwise impersonal loot on the grounds of abstraction. Mary Jones talks shop and Twitter with the artist.
It’s the last week of August and Whitney Claflin is unpacking her week-old studio in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. At the same time, she’s preparing for a four-person show at Thomas Erben Gallery in New York. At the end of September she’ll leave for a two month stay in Venice, California, where she’ll be selling her wine bottle paintings on the boardwalk. Whitney graduated from RISD in 2005 and from Yale in 2009.
Mary Jones I think of your work as being completely deconstructed. Everything about painting is questioned––put under pressure and analysis. Can you describe your influences?
Whitney Claflin Miró is someone that I think about a lot. He was someone who was very much a painter, he questioned everything in a wry, humorous way, but also in an angsty way. His Constructions and Objects (from the early 1930s) are inspirational because they’re visual puns, and they’re both formal and personal.
Mira Schor talks Miss Marple, Philip Guston, and big dreams.
Mira Schor’s recent show at Marvelli Gallery, NYC Voice and Speech, brings the viewer into the private, contemplative world of the painter at work—not so much with brush in hand, but with the mediation of ideas through language. Mira has pursued this subject for decades, through both her painting and writing. Feminism has been at the center of both pursuits, and her work combines this intellectual inquiry with an insistence on the female body as progenitor. To me, her work represents some of the best aspects the F-word exemplifies. It is fiercely personal, often confrontational, and demands that she observe the world through the lens of her own experience. I interviewed Mira in her home on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.
Mary Jones The figure that has recently emerged in your work made me think of Guston’s late paintings, and his cartoon-like representation of himself—observing himself in the studio painting, smoking, and eating. I thought of [the figure] as a feminine counterpoint to his: reading, thinking, and writing. Also like Philip Guston, you represent not just the pleasures, but also the anxieties of the studio: the feelings of mortality inherent to the situation, of vigilant awareness, and of never having enough time.
Mira Schor I admire Guston tremendously, and any resemblance comes out of a basic admiration for his work. It’s a lifetime goal to paint at that level.
Barbara T. Smith takes us on a journey through her life—from 1950s housewife to 1970s radical feminist, and on to her current work at age 81.
I’ve known the work of Barbara T. Smith for decades. In 1978, she performed in my downtown LA loft as part of an evening of performance sponsored by the feminist organization Double X. Recently, she’s come back on the scene with a substantial show at Maccarone in NYC in 2008, an installation of videos included in the recent WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution show at PS1, and, as part of the Getty’s Pacific Standard Time, a provocative show at UC Irvine called The Radicalization of a 50’s Housewife. The Getty show emphasized how inseparable Barbara’s work is from her life, and included family photos, taped interviews, reconstructed artworks, and documentation of previous pieces. The exhibition was incredibly moving, a wrenching portrait of the courage and evolution of a determined woman artist coming of age in the Los Angeles art scene of the 1960s.
The beauty of the young woman in the photographs at the Getty was startling. This was Barbara T. Smith, a self-described isolated Pasadena housewife with three children. Eager for adult conversation during the day, she had begun to volunteer at the local art museum in Pasadena, which just happened to be one of the world’s most avant-garde venues. Walter Hopps was at the helm, mounting a retrospective of Duchamp, and the first large-scale American pop art exhibition. Smith found herself flooded with ideas, and then began to realize them. These ideas were the genesis of ambitious, intellectual pieces that redefined the art of the time. Barbara trusted her instincts, her friends, and the resonance of a spiritual awakening that struck her suddenly and vibrantly in 1960.
None of this was easy; there were enormous and painful consequences to the changes Smith was making in her life. Her marriage ended in a scarring divorce, a nightmare scenario in which just the fact that she was a female performance artist was enough to malign her character and capacity for motherhood. Barbara lost custody and didn’t see her daughters again for 17 years. Still she moved forward, more deeply into her work.
Barbara is now 81. I interviewed her in her home in Venice, CA, which she has just sold. The place was full of positive vibes, bright colors, and young roommates who clearly look out for the artist.